Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday, September 19, hit out at his predecessor Chandrababu Naidu for "destroying" the Polavaram multi-purpose project on river Godavari, and said the former CM is "not eligible to be an MLA". Intervening during Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on the Polavaram rehabilitation issue, the Chief Minister blamed the previous government for leaving behind major pending work in the project. "This man (Chandrababu Naidu)...who claims to have 40 years of experience and 14 years as Chief Minister...see his intelligence. He is not even eligible to be an MLA. By going ahead with the construction of Polavaram without proper planning, he caused major damage to the project. But now they are blaming us for the delay in completing the project," the Chief Minister said.
Jagan alleged that the previous government accepted the special financial package granted by the Union government in 2016 without thinking, because of which the project cost was fixed based on 2011 rates. "Now, the Centre has adopted a rigid stance saying it will not enhance the rates. And, it is also not reimbursing the Rs 2,900 crore the state government spent on Polavaram. This is only because of Chandrababu's follies," he said. The Chief Minister presented a slideshow in the House on the status of the project works in May 2019 and now.
"This is how Chandrababu destroyed the project and we are now forced to repair it. He left a barren land where the (approach) channel was supposed to be built. Huge gaps were left in the two coffer dams and the spillway was also left incomplete. Due to this, the velocity of (Godavari) water caused a breach in the diaphragm wall, which is the key to the main dam," the Chief Minister pointed out. He said the state government was now trying to undo the damage and complete the Polavaram project on a war footing.
Referring to the additional compensation he promised to the Project Displaced Families, Jagan said the money would be paid by the time resettlement of the families up to the contour level of 41.15 metres was done. "I promised to enhance the compensation from Rs 6.86 lakh to Rs 10 lakh each. It will cost Rs 500 crore, which is nothing for me. I am pressing the button to distribute Rs 6,500 crore, Rs 6,700 crore and Rs 4,700 crore (for various welfare schemes)...this Rs 500 crore is nothing," the Chief Minister said. A government order on additional compensation was issued on June 30, 2021, he said.