Andhra CM Meets Union Ministers For Nod to Rs 55,656 Crore Polavaram Project

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Prakash Javadekar in Delhi on Thursday and sought the investment clearance for the second revised cost estimate of the Polavaram irrigation project, amounting to Rs 55,656.87 crore at the 2017-18 price level.

Reddy, who is on a two-day visit to the national capital, also sought shifting of the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) headquarters from Hyderabad to Rajamahendravaram at the earliest as it is difficult to travel from Hyderabad for project monitoring and inspection. The chief minister is likely to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He also called on Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

Regarding the Polavaram irrigation project, Reddy to Shekhawat that an early clearance of the funds is necessary so that work, including land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation, can be completed in accordance with the schedule by June-end. The chief minister requested the Jal Shakti Minister to consider the water supply component as an integral part of irrigation and said this would be in consonance with the guidelines followed by the Centre towards national projects.

Reddy urged the Centre to reimburse the expenditure without restricting to component-wise eligibility, the statement said. Further, he urged the Centre to reimburse funds for the land acquisition and the rehabilitation and resettlement compensation for the families affected by the project in accordance with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Centre has set a target of December 2021 for the completion of the Polavaram irrigation project, which aims to irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares, generate 960 MW of power and fulfil the water needs of industries and 540 villages in Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier in the day, the CM called on Javadekar, the Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, and discussed the pending environment clearance-related issues regarding the stocking works of the Polavaram project.

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