VIJAYAWADA: In a setback to the State government, which is scrambling for funds, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) has ‘rejected’ bills worth Rs 1,086.35 crore sent by Andhra Pradesh for reimbursement of the funds spent on the Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP).
Out of the total Rs 1,658.91 crore worth bills sent, only Rs 320.18 crore bills have been approved by the PPA and sent them to the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS). Of the total bills rejected, Rs 279.85 crore pertaining to headworks, Rs 285.48 crore to left and right main canals, Rs 285.60 crore to land acquisition, and Rs 235.46 to administrative aspects.
Water Resources officials said that the PPA rejected the bills because of component-wise restrictions and other reasons such as quantities/components were not covered in the previous detailed project report (DPR) that was approved before the PIP was declared a national project.
Of the total, Rs 805.68 crore bills were not approved because of the component-wise restriction. Another Rs 280.69 crore bills have been rejected as they pertain to the work quantities that were not included or covered in the old DPR. Even though the Revised Cost Estimates at 2017-18 price level got the approval of technical advisory committee and revised cost committee, the MoJS is yet to give investment clearance for the same.
As the Finance Department, MoJS and PPA are taking March, 2017 Cabinet resolution, which said funding for the remaining cost of the irrigation component alone would be borne at the rates approved in 2013-14 for the work quantities of 2010-11, the bills are being rejected.
As a result, the State government has been facing difficulties, a senior Water Resources official explained. After the MoJS gives investment clearance, in coordination with the Finance Ministry, the file will be sent to the Union Cabinet for final approval.