Monday, October 2, 2023

Hope springs over Rs 7.3k crore for Polavaram project

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Hopes of the water resources department are up with the reported movement of files pertaining to adhoc funds of around Rs 7,300 crore sought for the Polavaram project works till March. The State government has asked for these funds in view of the delay in sanction of the revised estimated cost of the project.

The issue of adhoc funds as well as the revised cost estimates gained impetus after it was taken to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he met multiple times in recent months. The Chief Minister had also requested the Prime Minister for help in executing the Polavaram project during the latter’s recent visit to Visakhapatnam. 

Senior officials in the water resources department said there were two meetings in the last 10 months at the secretary-level on various issues pertaining to Andhra Padesh, including funding for Polavaram. The Jal Shakti Ministry had asked for a detained report from the State water resources department so as to update the Ministry of Finance on the factual position of the project. Now, the proposal is under consideration of the Ministry of Finance. 

According to officials, continuous fund flow is a must to hasten the project works and complete it by 2024 as per the revised schedule. “Hence, the Chief Minister has requested the Prime Minister both in person and through letters, to clear the bills fortnightly as is done in case of other national projects, not component-wise,” one of the officials explained.

Various issues pertaining to funding of the project were also raised during the recent Polavaram Project Authority meeting held in Hyderabad. The Ministry of Jal Shakti is likely to take a decision on the issue at the earliest, he opined.

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