Polavaram Project Reverse Tendering: Plea Against Andhra Govt in HC Today; Centre Seeks Report

Amaravati: Reverse tendering of the Polavaram National Irrigation Project spells more trouble for the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government as Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd, the contract agency that was given the tender, approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday.

In their petition, Navayuga Engineering questioned the legality of the state government's decision of reverse tendering on the ongoing Polavaram project. It alleged that the government does not have the power to order a pre-closure of their contract. The contractor also termed the decision as a unilateral one, urging the Court to cancel the August 14 orders of Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corportation (AP GENCO) to curb all ongoing work on the project.

The High Court is slated to hear the plea today.

Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday sought a detailed report from the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) on the impact of reverse tendering. The minister demanded details of project cost escalation, time delay and other impacts within a week.

On coming to power, the Jaganmohan Reddy government had ordered reverse tendering of major irrigation projects in the state, alleging that the previous government led by Chandrababu Naidu had issued them at inflated rates.

The state government, acting on the recommendations of a report by an expert panel set up to look into irregularities in irrigation projects, gave pre-closure notices to the contractor, Navayuga, and eventually issued a reverse tendering notification.

The notification holds that the existing contractor can also participate in fresh bidding. The state government aims to complete the auction by the end of October and commence work from November 1.