Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed about the Polavaram project and issues such as early release of flood relief to the state. In an hour-long meeting, Reddy submitted a memorandum on the Polavaram project and urged the home minister to consider the second revised cost estimate as per the 2017-18 index and pass the Rs 55,656 crore expenditure, and give necessary instructions to the finance and jal shakti departments. The chief minister also urged the Centre to reimburse the land acquisition, and relief and rehabilitation (R&R) packages as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, an official statement said.
In the meeting, Reddy informed that the number of families to be evacuated rose considerably in 2017-18 as compared to 2005-06 from 44,574 to 1,06,006, by which the land acquisition and R &R cost has also increased. ”An amount of Rs 1,779 crores is still pending towards reimbursement of Polavaram works along with December 2018 bills. Any delay will further escalate the cost and the national project…should be expedited,” he told the home minister.
The chief minister also apprised Shah about the effective steps taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He informed that even during the difficult situation, welfare schemes were not stopped. The state machinery is prepared to facilitate distribution of COVID-19 vaccine as per the priority norms set by the Centre and vital cold storage links are being established, Reddy said. Other issues discussed during the meeting included request to expedite issue of necessary certificates for taking additional loans as part of the permission given in wake of the pandemic.
In the meeting, the chief minister also discussed release of Rs 1,600 crore due towards PDS for 2013-14 to 2018-19, GST dues from April to September 2020 amounting Rs 4,308.46 cores, dues to local bodies as per the 14th Finance Commission amounting to Rs 1,111.53 crores and Rs 1,954.5 crores as per the 15th Finance Commission, besides Rs 3,801.98 cores pending towards NREGs. The granting of permission for 16 new medical colleges to strengthen the medical system was also discussed in the meeting.
The Disha Special Courts Bill was brought in to check crimes against women and children and the Centre should consider the bill, he said. The Andhra Pradesh Land Titling Authority Bill for the comprehensive land survey should also get the President’s nod, Reddy said, adding that the comprehensive land survey will begin from December 21. The chief minister urged the home minister to issue a notification for the decentralisation of the administration by setting up the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati, and judicial capital at Kurnool.
Reddy reminded Shah that the 2019 manifesto of the BJP also has a mention of making Kurnool as the judicial capital. Permission for the Girijan University and compensation for the loss and damage due to Cyclone Nivar should also be expedited, he told Shah. The chief minister reached the national capital late evening and is scheduled to return on December 15.