VIJAYAWADA: A delegation of YSRC MPs led by party parliamentary leader V Vijayasai Reddy and floor leader in Lok Sabha PV Midhun Reddy on Wednesday met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and requested him to approve the revised estimate cost of Rs 55,656 crore for the Polavaram Project.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Vijayasai Reddy said they requested Shekhawat to approve the second revised estimates recommended by the Central Water Commission and Technical Advisory Committee without any further delay.
“We have also requested for regularising the reimbursement of the expenditure on the project, and shift the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) office to Rajamahendravaram,” he said.
Despite several representations and meetings, the Central government is not actively pursuing the issues, obstructing the smooth progress of the project. “All we have asked is to consider revised estimate costs for the project as the earlier estimates were made based on 2010-11 price levels. The first revised estimate of Rs 57,297 crore was based on the 2017-18 price level, and later it was revised again to Rs 55,548 crore by the Jal Shakti ministry’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The Central Water Commission had sent the same to the Revised Cost Committee, which revised it and sent the re-revised cost estimates of Rs 47,725 crore to the ministry,” he explained.
There was, however, no investment clearance for the project’s revised cost estimates. Moreover, the expenditure wing of the Ministry of Finance removed the drinking water component from the RCE and further revised the estimates based on 2013-14 price levels, which resulted in Polavaram Project Authority refusing to reimburse the expenditure on some vital components.