VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam Party’s ally BJP is not happy with its partner as far as the execution of Polavaram Irrigation Project is concerned though it is all praise for the Chandrababu Naidu administration for completing the Polavaram Main Right Canal (PMRC) and executing Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme.
“I was in fact surprised at the pace with which the engineers of the Irrigation Department worked in completing the PMRC works in a record time. Irrigation engineers working to a deadline is something that has not happened in the past and I have all the appreciation for the commendable work they have done this time,” BJP state president K Haribabu said at an informal interaction with newsmen here on Friday.
But he said that he was far from satisfied with the way the works were going on at the Polavaram project. “Nothing has been done so far and the state government says the Centre has to reimburse Rs.1,900 cr which it says it has so far spent on the project. When we visited the Polavaram project site, I did not find any evidence that some construction work had taken place there. I would like to know on what basis the state government is seeking reimbursement of the funds from the Centre,” he said.
Hari Babu clarified that though the Polavaram project had been declared a national project, it had to be executed by the state only since the earlier government had signed an agreement with a contractor for its execution. The SPV the Centre proposed to create would not be able to cancel the agreement. The funds, of course, would be provided by the Centre, but the execution would have to be done by the state only,” he said.
The BJP president, however, pointed out that just because they were not happy with the way Polavaram works were going on, it did not mean that the saffron party was trying to distance itself from the TDP as was being made out in some quarters. “That TDP is a partner in the NDA government at the Centre and the BJP is a partner in the TDP government in the state. We are allies and we have no differences of opinion at political plane,” he added.
Hari Babu said that it was not fair for anyone to criticise the Centre for the delay in sanctioning institutions that had been promised in the AP Reorganisation Act. For the Centre to establish an institution, the state had to provide land. In the case of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the foundation stone had not been laid so far because the land had not been identified, he said and added that now that the required land had been allotted at Mangalagiri in Guntur district, the foundation stone would be laid soon.