The Andhra Pradesh government issued a notification on Saturday for reverse tendering of the Polavaram project, for works estimated to cost Rs 4900 crore. This includes headworks worth Rs 1,800 crore and a hydel project worth Rs 3,100 crore.
“We have uploaded the notification on the tender digest website of the state irrigation department. The details, however, will appear on Monday morning on the e-procurement website as there is a two-day time lag due to security verifications etc,” special chief secretary (irrigation) Adityanath Das was quoted as saying.
As partial work on the project is already completed, the state has ordered for the pre-closure of the previous tender and called for a fresh tender.
The state decided to go ahead with the reverse tendering against the advice of the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA). PPA CEO R K Jain had earlier urged the state government against pre-closure and re-tendering and added that the state should keep the idea in abeyance till the central government took a considered view of the matter.
"Fresh tenders would be called for the construction of Polavaram reservoir. The irregularities committed by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) would be rectified and the work will be completed in three years," Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav said.
According to media reports, online bidding will start on August 19 and go on for 30 days. The state government aims to start work on the project by November and finish all pending work before the end of its five-year term.
The YSRCP government, in tune with its decision to review all the projects taken up by former CM Chandrababu Naidu’s government, had issued a termination notice to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited over its contract for the Polavaram project earlier this month.
An expert panel which had been constituted to look into suspected irregularities had found flaws in the project’s execution, such as slow progress which had not been penalised and price escalations which had been accepted by the government.
Polavaram, which is estimated to cost Rs 58,000 crore, was declared as a national project in 2016. It is designed to bring an area of over seven lakh acres in coastal Andhra under irrigation besides producing 960 MW power, utilising 2,73,000 tmcft of water currently going waste into the sea.