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Polavaram: Perennially tangled in controversy?

Eyebrows are being raised over the Andhra Government’s hurry in inviting fresh bids to take up works of the project.

Published: 12th June 2010 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 09:04 PM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: The Polavaram Project always seems to be entangled in one controversy or the other.

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently assured he would look into the possibility of according national status to the project, eyebrows are being raised over the State Government’s hurry in inviting fresh bids to take up works pertaining to both the irrigation and hydro power components of the project simultaneously.

Tenders for the project will be closed by June 30 and are likely to be finalised in the second week of July.

The officials called for fresh bids for the hydro power plant along with the construction of spillway and the earth-cum-rockfill dam. Earlier, all these three components were considered separate packages and were accordingly awarded to separate bidders. However, as the bidders failed to meet the deadlines, the officials decided to combine them into a single package to take up the works simultaneously and invited fresh bids.

“Taking up the works simultaneously by a single bidder will make supervision of the project easy for the State Government. The decision to combine all components was taken after the bidders of separate packages failed to complete their works on schedule,” maintained an official in the Irrigation department.

While calling for fresh tenders is a common phenomenon, questions are being asked over inclusion of the 960 MW hydro power plant in the new package, ignoring the proposal for awarding the works to AP Genco which has vast experience in handling such projects.

The construction of the spillway and the earth-cumrockfill dam is expected to cost of Rs 633 crore and Rs 884 crore respectively.

The 960 MW hydro power plant alone costs about Rs 2,700 crore which is about one-third of the total project cost of the Polavaram Project estimated at about Rs 9,000 crore.

For reasons best known to the State Government, the Irrigation department wants to construct the hydro power project even before completing the distribution canal network. Experts and some senior officials in AP Genco say there is no need for hurry as completion of civil works including the earthcum- rockfill dam and spillway, and establishment of the distribution canal network, would take at least five to six years. However, the construction of the hydro power project, including setting up of machinery, can be done within two or three years.

Interestingly, the fresh tender also demands completion of all works pertaining to the hydro power project, spillway and the earth-cumrock fill dam by 2012 but it has not been made mandatory that the distribution canal network be completed in the same time.

 

Powerhouse works award stinks: TD

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today alleged that the award of works for the powerhouse coming up as part of the Polavaram project was made to a firm very close to State Government adviser KVP Ramachandra Rao.

That was why Polavaram was getting delayed, it maintained.

Speaking to reporters here today, TDP senior leader Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy alleged that Rao was carrying on the corrupt legacy of YS Rajasekhara Reddy.

The TDP leader said the construction of the powerhouse should have been entrusted to Genco. However, the tenders were called as part of Jala Yagnam and the qualifications set for contracting companies were so managed that only one company would be eligible to file tenders.

 



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