The MP said that the Centre must honour its assurance of meeting the complete expenditure of the irrigation project.

Centre must bear cost of Polavaram project Andhra Congress MP moves courtFile Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Cephas 405
news News Friday, November 17, 2017 - 11:23

Andhra Pradesh Congress Rajya Sabha member KVP Ramachandra Rao on Thursday approached the Hyderabad High Court and demanded that the Centre meet the complete expenditure of the Polavaram project.

Filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Rao said that the Centre must honour the assurances made in the Parliament and act according to the guidelines of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The Times of India reported that Rao criticised the Centre, which said that it would bear the cost of the project only at rates that were prevailing in 2014, and demanded the release of Rs 3,800 crore to the state.

The Congress MP alleged that AP was keeping quiet, and for reasons best known to it, had decided to bear the escalated costs on its own without questioning the Centre.

The case is likely to be listed on Tuesday.

Last year, the Congress MP had raised the special status issue through a Private Member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha and said that the BJP had betrayed the people of AP by going back on the promise of granting it special status.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for not filing its response on a plea filed by the state government of Odisha regarding the Polavaram irrigation project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh.

Expressing dissatisfaction at the Centre’s failure to file a reply, the court asked it to pay the fine and respond within two weeks.

In October, the Andhra government reportedly brushed aside Odisha’s request that work on the Polavaram project be stopped until the latter’s concerns were addressed.

Though conceptually proposed in 1941 and taken a little further by former Chief Minister T Anjaiah, it was during the term of YS Rajasekhara Reddy that the project began gathering steam.

In its present form, the multi-purpose irrigation project has an assessed command area of 2.91 lakh hectares and a power generation potential of 960 MW.

 

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