Amaravthi: The Centre has opposed the Andhra Pradesh government’s pre-closure notices to the contract agency working on the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project.
Responding to a question raised in Lok Sabha on Friday, Cabinet Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, “The Jagan government’s decision could become a big hindrance for the project work’s progress in future. If the state government goes for a fresh bidding, the total cost of the project will increase drastically and they won’t be able to estimate the time of its completion. The responsibility of completing the project lies with state government only.”
After coming to power the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government decided to go for reverse tendering of several major projects alleging irregularities during the previous Naidu regime.
The Jagan government alleged there were a lot of irregularities in the project works and the cabinet ministers and senior leaders in the former TDP government benefitted from the hike in project estimates.
As part of the reverse tendering process, the state government has constituted an expert panel to examine the irregularities in the Polavaram project, 70% of which was completed during the previous government.
The expert panel gave a report to the Jagan Govt on July 24, in which it mentioned that irregularities worth Rs 3,797 crore have been identified. Based on the report, the YSRCP government served a pre-closure notice to the project agency Navayuga Engineering Company Limited. The government asked the agency to withdraw from the project works and settle the balance amount with the government.
The Jagan government wants to go for a fresh bidding for the Polavaram Project soon and the works will be awarded to those who quote lower amount than the previous agency. After the re-tendering, Polavaram works will be resumed from November 1, 2019