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CWC ‘recommends’ Polavaram Irrigation Project RCE at 2017-18 price

Now, the MoJS has two options for getting the final nod: to finalise the proposal and forward it to the Union Cabinet or to pursue it with the Union Finance Ministry. 

Published: 30th December 2020 08:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2020 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

Polavaram Irrigation Project

Polavaram Irrigation Project

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: In a positive indication, the Central Water Commission (CWC) is said to have recommended to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) to approve the revised cost estimates (RCE) of Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP) at 2017-18 price level (PL). The MoJS is most likely to get the Union Cabinet’s nod to get the final clearance from the Finance department.“The CWC has recommended to the MoJS the clearance of the 2017-18 PL for PIP’s RCE. We are expecting a positive development soon,” a senior State official said. 

Now, the MoJS has two options for getting the final nod: to finalise the proposal and forward it to the Union Cabinet or to pursue it with the Union Finance Ministry. The Union Cabinet’s approval may not be sought as the March, 2017, Union Cabinet resolution, which has restricted the funding to the cost as on April 1, 2014, and that too for the quantities approved in 2010-11, is in place and has to be superseded. It may be recalled that the technical advisory committee (TAC) of the CWC had cleared RCE at 2017-18 PL of Rs 55,656.87 crore, which was later pruned to Rs 47,725.74 crore by the revised cost committee (RCC). 

After the Union Ministry of Finance’s letter on October 12 seeking confirmation of 2013-14 PL of Rs 20,398 crore for the irrigation project, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) said that the latest prices “needs to be finalised” for the project completion. 

It forwarded the same to the MoJS. However, the MoJS once again sought CWC’s views on inclusion of the water supply component, as it is estimated to cost Rs 7,214 crore. The ministry felt that the quantum of water supply component was ‘very high’ as 79 per cent of the total water supply of 23.44 TMC is for industrial supply, while 21 per cent is for domestic/drinking water purposes. The State government and the CWC clarified that the cost of the water supply works is included in the irrigation component as per the national project guidelines. While there is no official confirmation if the water supply component has also been included in the recommended costs, the officials said that chances of excluding the component were slim. 

Polavaram Project Authority meeting today
The Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) meeting is scheduled to be held in Vijayawada on Wednesday. According to officials, land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LARR) and progress of the project would be the major agenda items for the meeting, which will be chaired by PPA chief executive officer (CEO) J Chandrashekhar Iyer. Iyer has recently been on a three-day visit to the project site, during which he took stock of various aspects of the works. 



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