Amaravathi: The Polavaram irrigation project will be the first one going for the reverse tendering process in Andhra Pradesh as an expert panel, constituted to examine the irregularities that occurred during N Chandrababu Naidu's regime, submitted its report last week.
In this report, the expert panel found that the agencies did not complete the work allotted to them during the agreement period for reasons untenable as per contract conditions, while they also slowed down the work and demanded revision of rates.
The panel also found that the extension of time was granted by the then Naidu government several times without any penalty for slow progress. No liquidity damages were levied for slow progress for all packages, which reflects a lapse on the part of the competent authority administering the contract.
All the eight agencies had to complete the work within 24 months from the date of concluding the agreement but it was not done. Moreover, the agencies asked for escalation of prices and the government accepted the proposal.
The expert panel found that In the left canal works, an escalation of Rs 1,690 crore has been Identified and in the right canal works, there was an escalation of another Rs 2,107 crore. A total amount of Rs 3,797 crore was escalated in favour of the agencies.
The technical committee of the Central Water Commission had approved an estimated cost of Rs 55,548 crore for the construction of the total project as per the latest estimates.
After coming to power, the Jagan Reddy government took a policy decision and approved a bill regarding the re-tendering of process. According to this, if any irregularities or escalation of prices are found in any major project with the cost of more than Rs 100 crore, it will be re-tendered and a fresh bidding will be conducted. As per the decision taken, the Jagan government stopped the total works of the Polavaram project.
As per the Act, the present government has decided to go for a reverse tendering of the Polavaram National Irrigation Project soon. The government will go for a fresh bidding and award the works to those who quote lower than existing prices. After that the project works will start again on November 1, 2019.