Days after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking investment clearance for the Polavaram project, former CM Chandrababu Naidu said that Jagan lacked the tact to negotiate such matters. Seeking the clearance for the second revised cost estimate of Rs 55,549 crore, Jagan had mentioned all the developments, delays and cost overruns in his letter to the PM. He also said that there was some communication gap, resulting in confusion on the cost of the project.
Blaming the YSRCP government for the current status of the project, Naidu said that Jagan went ahead with reverse tendering in spite of the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) and Union Ministry of Jal Shakti advising against it. Referring to Jagan’s letter to Modi, Naidu called it a “garbage letter”, and said that Jagan was doing politics without any awareness or understanding. “Consult experts who can guide you. You are only spreading misinformation. Mudslinging on TDP is being used as a distraction without caring about the loss to the state,” Naidu said, addressing Jagan.
He claimed that a major part of Polavaram project work was completed under the TDP government, between 2014 and 2019. As of 2019, he said that upto 70 % of the work had been completed. “The TDP brought national project status, brought momentum to the project. We brought the project to a certain level while constantly convincing the Government of India,” he claimed.
“If Polavaram project and river linking were completed by now, irrigation problems could have been solved to a large extent,” he added. He also referred to the recent development in the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project, where a proposed construction by the state government has been halted by the National Green Tribunal, to insinuate that the YSRCP government was mismanaging the irrigation projects in the state.
Naidu said that finding lapses with the previous TDP government in letters to the Union government will not help the project, and Jagan should instead settle the issue in an amicable manner.