VIJAYAWADA: The expert committee constituted to look into the engineering works awarded during the previous TDP regime is likely to meet Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday and submit its observations and recommendations on Polavaram Irrigation Project. Speculation is rife that the Chief Minister, after the committee presents its report to him, may order reverse tendering of the project.
Soon after constituting the committee, Jagan told its members to examine the proceedings of the national project, which was not a part of their task given, on priority. He told them to identify the lapses so that public money could be saved by plugging them. Jagan also found fault with the way that several components of the project were awarded on nomination basis to close aides of former CM Chandrababu Naidu.
One of the members of the committee said that preliminary examination had revealed anomalies in the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract signed and that the same would be reported to the CM. The YSRC leaders too, on multiple occasions, on the tendering process, alleged large scale irregularities in the project.
Since the YSRC government had ordered cancellation of Polavaram Hydroelectric Power (HEP) plant contract awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd (NECL) and went for reverse tendering, sources said that the Chief Minister may also go with the same procedure for the irrigation project as well. “The government wants to have a new contractor for the Polavaram HEP by October 1,” an official from Water Resources department observed.
However, it may not be as easy to replace the contractor as the State government needs Centre’s green signal for it. If the State government decides to go for reverse tendering, it will write a letter to the Centre recommending a change of the contracting agency.