VIJAYAWADA: Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday responded positively after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy briefed him on the reasons that forced the State government to go in for reverse tendering in respect of the Polavaram headworks and hydel power project.
However, Shekhawat said the Centre will take a final call on approving reverse tendering after going through the report submitted by the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA).
The Chief Minister, who was in Delhi for the meeting convened by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on left-wing extremism, met Shekhawat and Shah later in the evening.
It is learnt that Jagan explained to Shekhawat the irregularities that came to light during the enquiry conducted by an expert committee on Polavaram. Union Jal Shakti Minister to visit State next month.
Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy on Monday said the State government will complete the Polavaram project in record time. “The government is sincere. The works will be resumed after reverse tendering. Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat will visit the State next month and inspect the project works,” he told the media.
The panel has recently submitted its report to the government highlighting lapses that caused loss to the State government in the process of awarding the Polavaram contracts and executing the same during the erstwhile TDP government.
Sources said Jagan told Shekhawat that reverse tendering will bring down the project cost. Following the decision of the government to go for reverse tendering, the PPA had advised it to wait for the Centre’s nod and cautioned that the move could result in cost escalation. Later, Shekhawat told the media that the State government’s decision was crucial as it was executing the project.
“We have to look at it (PPA report) in totality. We will take the decision which is in favour of the State, project and as well as Government of India,” he said. The interlinking of Godavari and Krishna rivers also reportedly came up for discussion. The CM has written a letter to the Centre explaining the necessity of interlinking the rivers and sought Central aid for the same. Earlier, Jagan met Amit Shah and discussed with him various issues related to the State.