Irrigation Minister refutes reports of reducing Polavaram dam's height in AP's West Godavari

ANI
·3-min read
The Polavaram project is under construction in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Polavaram project is under construction in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

West Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) [India], November 17 (ANI): Rubbishing the claims made by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regarding lowering of Polavaram dam's height, Irrigation Minister P. Anil Kumar, on Monday, said there is no deviation in the project and asked TDP members to measure the height of the dam with a tape after its completion.

"TDP leaders are talking meaningless about the Polavaram project. There is no deviation in project work. They are alleging that we have decided to reduce the project height. That's why I told them to measure the height with a tape after its construction," the Minister said.

Raising questions on the opposition, the Irrigation Minister said that TDP should reveal the March 2017 Union Cabinet note. He alleged that the previous government made the project more complex by accepting to cap the project cost (for 2010-11 work quantities) at 2013-14 price level.

"TDP should explain to the public why their ministers in the NDA government nodded to the 2017 central cabinet meeting. Their nod for central government conditions made the situation much complex. That's why neither TDP nor Chandrababu has any eligibility to speak on Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) package or evacuation. TDP has claimed to have completed 70 per cent of Polavaram project works. Out of Rs 50,000 crore expenditure for the project, almost Rs 30,000 crores are for R&R only. How can they claim completion of 70% of the project?" the Minister said.

"TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and leader Devineni Umamaheswara Rao don't even know the rules to store water. Nobody will store water to the full extent in the first year itself. High top filling and rate of filling will be done according to the rules of the Central Water Commission. Gradually water storage will be increased. We will construct the project so that 194 TMC of water will be stored," he added.

The Irrigation Minister visited the Polavaram project in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. He inspected the construction work and reviewed the situation with irrigation officials deployed for the project.

The minister said that the YSR government will complete the Polavaram project by December 2021 and Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy will inaugurate the project.

"It was late CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy who laid the foundation for Polavaram project, and the current CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy will complete the project. This is the will of God. After state bifurcation in 2014, Polavaram dam has become a national project. We hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi will cooperate for the completion of the project. The project will be completed by December 2021," the minister said.

The minister also added that the state government will take full responsibility for the dam's construction but the central government should grant funds for its construction.

"Polavaram is a national project. The state government will take care of the responsibility for its construction. It is the central government's responsibility to grant funds for construction and R&R package," the Minister concluded. (ANI)