Hyderabad: Union Minister for Road Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari will visit the Polavaram dam site on Wednesday to review the work.
The visit is under a spotlight as it will be the first visit by any central minister after the BJP and the TDP severed ties. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu will also accompany Nitin Gadkari during his visit.
Recognising the importance of Polavaram project, the Centre had declared it as a national project. So far, 56 percent of project work has been completed.
Amidst standoff between the BJP-led Centre and the Telugu Desam Party, the state BJP has accused the TDP of spreading lies on the issue of funds for Polavaram.
According to the state government, the total expenditure of the project so far stands at Rs 13,798 crore. After declaring it as a national project, an amount of Rs 8662 crore had been spent on the project by end of May. Out of this, an amount of Rs 6,727 crore has been reimbursed by the government of India. Balance amount of Rs 1,935 crore spent by the state funds is still pending.
On June 25, Chandrababu Naidu had also written a letter to union minister Nitin Gadkari seeking funds for the project which included reimbursement of Rs 431 crore balance to the state and release of additional Rs 1504 crore excess amount of the project cost as per the 2013-14 cost estimates.
"In order to complete the land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement works as per schedule, sufficient funds are to be made available. Any delay in providing required funds will hamper the present pace of activities with respect to works. I request your kind intervention, which will help in timely completion of the project, which, in turn, will help in overall development of the nation,” Naidu had said.
BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao recently questioned the TDP saying, "Polavaram is PM Modi's gift to people of Andhra Pradesh. As a national project, the central government is giving 100% funding. Chandrababu Naidu blocked Polavaram in past but is claiming credit now. TDP is a party of lies, publicity and corruption. TDP is lying that the Centre has to pay Rs 1935 crore as dues. Naidu must apologise for spreading lies and falsely claiming credit."
However, amidst allegations, the TDP is hopeful of positive outcomes after the visit of Union Minister. The state government is making all efforts to timely finish the ambitious project.
The visit of union minister Nitin Gadkari to Polavaram was due for a long time.