Andhra to release white paper on Polavaram project status, irregularities

The YSRC government allegedly delayed the Polavaram project by 10 years, diverting funds meant for irrigation projects.
Irrigation minister Nimmala Ramanaidu takes charge on Thursday.
Irrigation minister Nimmala Ramanaidu takes charge on Thursday. Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA : The State government will soon release a white paper on the status of Polavaram Irrigation Project, and the irregularities that took place in its execution, said Minister for Water Resources Nimmala Rama Naidu.

Speaking to mediapersons after formally assuming office in his chambers at the State Secretariat in Velagapudi on Thursday, he alleged that the YSRC government had pushed the development of Polavaram project back by 10 years. “The project to be completed in a year, was neglected, and the previous YSRC regime had made a mess of things. It is not just Polavaram, other irrigation projects have also suffered the same fate. In 2019, the funds reimbursed by the Centre for the works executed by the State, were diverted to other purposes. The white paper to be released by the government will cover all the issues,” he said.

The Chief Minister visited the Polavaram project soon after assuming office, which reflects the government’s commitment to development of agriculture sectors, he said.

Rama Naidu reiterated that it was due to the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s ignorant decisions the diaphragm wall of the Polavaram project was badly damaged. “Repairs of the diaphragm wall are estimated to cost `448 crore, and `990 crore is needed to construct a new one. A final call on whether the damaged diaphragm wall should be repaired or a new one should be constructed parallel to the existing one will be taken very soon,” he said.

He said the first files he signed soon after assuming office, were related to strengthening of canal bunds, and repair of shutters, gates and locks to ensure supply of adequate water for irrigation in Kharif. He directed the irrigation officials to take measures for the removal of water hyacinth in canals and drains.

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