VIJAYAWADA: Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy defends the revised estimates for the project. He says the Central government can revise estimates if it is not satisfied with the one made by the State.
Excerpts from an interview with Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy.
Are you confident of getting irrigation water for Kharif in 2019 from Polavaram?
I am confident that our government will meet the deadline and will release water for irrigation from the project to lakhs of acres in 2019.
But, the slow pace of the works gives a different picture. What do you say about it?
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao are striving hard to put the works on fast track. Their efforts will definitely yield results. What is needed now is support from the Central Government for timely release of funds.
What about revised estimates? They say Central Government is not happy with it?
Since the project was announced as a national project in 2014, the cost of construction has increased several folds. It is normal to have a revised estimates to complete the project on time. If the Centre is not satisfied with the revised estimates, it can always do the revised estimates themselves. Why are they not including costs to be incurred on R&R package
What do you have to say about opposition parties’ criticism regarding the project?
I do not think the people who have misappropriated funds in the name of projects without executive a single one has any rights to criticise. Completing the project on time will be befitting reply to all of them.
What about other states’ objections?
Polavaram project is not just beneficial to Andhra Pradesh, but also three neighbouring states — Telangana, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh. The Centre should take care of those issues as Polavaram is a national project.