The YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh demanded a high-level inquiry into alleged irregularities in the Polavaram Project and claimed that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been receiving kickbacks.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday, Party MP YV Subba Reddy said, "Close on the heels of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari‚Äôs remarks that Polavaram should be built as a corruption free project, Chandrababu Naidu has rushed to Nagpur with a proposal to change the contractor which shows the real intentions of the state."
"The real idea behind it is to take the matter to legal corridors as the project cannot be completed within the promised deadline of 2018. If the contractor is changed, the earlier company owned by TDP MP would be blacklisted and there is every chance that he moves the court holding up the project indefinitely," Reddy said.
He also demanded that the state should also spell out the exact cost for the completion of the project and whether it would meet its 2018 deadline or not.
"During CM YSR's term, the Polavaram works began and the estimated cost was pegged at Rs 16,000 crore. The government should categorically state how much the estimated cost has escalated and what is the final figure. The irregularities in the Polavaram project have been very glaring and the works are being done not by the contractor, but by sub-contractors. Naidu wants to revise the estimates and give the contract to his own people," Reddy alleged.
In 2009, YSR declared that the project would be completed in a span of three years and would irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares.
In its present form, the multi-purpose irrigation project, still has an assessed command area of 2.91 lakh hectares and a power generation potential of 960 MW.
"We demand that the Centre order an inquiry into the irregularities in carrying out the national project, to find out the progress during the past 3.5 years, how much was spent, and the total cost of the project," he added.
He also said that the YSRCP would meet the Union Minister for Water Resources and apprise him of the alleged irregularities.
Meanwhile, Minister for Water Resources Devnineni Umamheswara Rao said that the increase in the cost of Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) was the biggest component in the escalation of cost of the Polavaram project.
He refuted all allegations made by the YSRCP MP.
Stating that the YSRCP leaders were ‚Äúexperts in corruption,‚ÄĚ Rao said, ‚ÄúEverything appears yellow for their jaundiced eyes.‚ÄĚ