AP CM meets Shekhawat, Javadekar to discuss Polavaram irrigation project

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy called on Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekawat and Prakash Javadekar 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.

He 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, who is on a two-day visit to the national capital, is likely to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He also called on Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday.

At the meeting with Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat, Reddy 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, according to an official statement.

He said an early clearance of the funds is necessary so that the project works, including land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation, can be completed in accordance with the schedule by June-end.

The chief minister requested Shekhawat 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.

He also requested for the shifting of the PPA headquarters from Hyderabad to Rajamahendravaram.

Earlier in the day, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister 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.

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. PTI LUX RC

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