TDP slams CM for compromising on Polavaram project

Vijayawada, March 5 : Former Telugu Desam Party Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao on Saturday criticised Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for ‘not making’ any efforts to get the Central financial clearance for the already approved Rs. 55,548 Crore cost of the Polavaram irrigation project. Devineni termed it as highly objectionable that Chief Minister was bargaining for the Polavaram funds in a cowardly manner during Friday’s visit of on Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to the dam. Addressing a press conference here, the TDP leader asked how Reddy could ask for a decreased cost of Rs. 47,725 crore if the Centre was not ready to concede Rs 55,548 crore. Why was the Chief Minister trying to reduce Polavaram project into a barrage instead of protecting it as a lifeline project for over 50 lakh farmers?, he asked. The former Irrigation Minister accused the Chief Minister of allegedly mortgaging the interests of the State farmers to the Centre for the sake of his CBI-ED cases and his party MP Avinash Reddy’s cases. During the TDP regime itself, the Polavaram project got approval for its DPR-2 at a cost of Rs. 55,548 crore. The technical advisory committee had cleared this. Still, the YSRCP regime was not pressing for this. He asked why the ruling YSRCP was not able to bring pressure on the Centre despite having over 28 MPs in the Parliament. The Chief Minister was compromising the AP interests at the National level for the sake of his selfish personal agenda, Devineni alleged. If Polavaram project was completed, more than 960 MW hydel power would have been available offering Re 1 per t power to the state by now. The senior TDP leader deplored that the Jagan Mohan Reddy regime was interested only in buying power at steep rates of Rs. 15 to Rs 20 per t in the market. No efforts were made to complete Polavaram as per the announced deadlines. Reddy diverted Rs. 4,500 crore Central funds released to pay Polavaram bills and paid these funds to the liquor contractors, Devineni Uma alleged. DP CS1715

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