Amaravati: In a major setback for the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government, the high court on Thursday suspended the state Power Generation Corporation (Genco)’s pre-closure orders to Navayuga Engineering Company for a hydroelectric power station that is part of the Polavaram project.
The court also stayed the reverse tendering process, initiated by the state government, for the Polavaram hydroelectric project and the dam head works. Justice DVSS Somayajulu issued interim orders to this effect on a petition filed by Navayuga, challenging the AP Genco’s pre-closure order on the project worth Rs 3,100 crore.
On August 1, the YSR Congress government decided to terminate the contract awarded to Navayuga for execution of the Polavaram dam head works. On August 14, the AP Genco issued the pre-closure order to Navayuga on the hydroelectric project, citing lack of progress in works. Despite warnings from the Centre, the state government issued a ‘reverse tender’ last week, inviting fresh bids for the hydro power station and the Polavaram head works as it suspected the previous regime of wrongdoing.
Navayuga challenged Genco’s order, related only to the hydro power station, contending that as per the contract, it had time till November 2021 to complete the project. After hearing arguments of the petitioner and the state government, Justice Somayajulu issued interim orders and suspended Genco's pre-closure order.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) dubbed the high court order as a slap on the face of the chief minister. Leader of the Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu said it would have a severe impact on the progress of the Polavaram project as a whole and cause inordinate delay in execution. “What will the government say to this now? Despite the Centre’s warning, the state government is not appreciating the reality. We have been cautioning against indiscriminate actions too," the former chief minister told reporters in an informal chat here.
(With inputs from PTI)