Will complete Polavaram project fast: Jagan
Says he sought Rs 15,000 cr from Centre on ad hoc basis for project works, terms TDP govt’s approach unscientific
VIJAYAWADA: Asserting that the Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP) will be completed by his government, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said the project, which was started by his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy, will be completed by him.In his concluding remarks of a short discussion on the Polavaram project in the State Assembly on Thursday, he reiterated that the government was able to save Rs 800 crore on the project by going for the reverse tendering process.
“Recently I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking Central support for expeditious completion of the Polavaram project. As revised estimates for the project are taking time, I sought Rs 15,000 crore on ad hoc basis for the project works,” he said and added that the government is prepared to spend Rs 550 crore additional expenditure for paying Rs 10 lakh compensating to every project displaced family.
Squarely blaming the previous TDP government and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the delay in the project works and damage to the diaphragm wall in Godavari floods, Jagan said Naidu has no moral right to even utter the word Polavaram, leave alone taking credit for it.The TDP chief had used Polavaram as an ATM to get cash. “These are not my words, PM Modi himself has said it,” he reminded the House.
Taking serious exception to the publicity blitz by the media supporting the TDP and its chief with regard to the Polavaram project, Jagan said a wrong, even if projected as truth for 100 times can never become truth. Naidu, even when he was the CM, did not utter the word Polavaram before 2014. Now, the media is supporting him as if Naidu was whole and sole of the project. “Nothing can be far from truth. Polavaram was the dream project of YSR and now as his son, I will complete it,” he asserted.
Jagan maintained that the Opposition Leader, while he was heading the government in the past, only treated the project as a cash cow for himself and those supporting him. “It was a perfect example of Dochuko, Panchuko and Tinuko philosophy of the TDP,” he alleged.
Continuing his verbal assault on the Opposition, he said the TDP did not approach the project in a systematic manner as it should be. “Instead of following the order, they constructed it in a haphazard manner, resulting in undue delay and losses,” he said and added that only works, which would fetch them more commission were done first, ignoring the order of works to be done.
Further elaborating on what went wrong with the construction of Polavaram during the TDP regime, he said to divert the water flow of the 2.6 km wide Godavari river at the project site, spillway, approach channel and spill channel should be constructed first, later cofferdams have to be constructed and after de-watering the area between two cofferdams, the earth-cum-rock fill dam has to be built.
“However, they first constructed the spillway, but left it midway and took construction of two cofferdams and the diaphragm wall. The cofferdams too were incomplete. The upper cofferdam was constructed to the length of 1,600 metres leaving two huge gaps. During massive floods in 2020, with the spillway incomplete, the flood could not be diverted and the river water flowed through the gaps left in the upper cofferdam at a very high velocity as the water flow was highly compressed. Result, the diaphragm was damaged,” he explained.
Elaborating on how they corrected the lapses and efforts put in to bringing the project construction on right course, he said on a priority basis, they completed approach channel, pilot channel, spill channel and spillway.