Completion of the Polavaram project planned for December 2021, but it depends on the R&R solution: Center

New Delhi, December 2 () The current mega Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh will be completed in December 2021 according to the revised tender submitted by the state government, said Union Minister Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Rajya Sabha.

In response to consultations during question time, the minister, however, said the completion of this project will depend on how quickly the state government resolves the problem of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R).

The proposed Polavaram irrigation project aims to irrigate 2.91 lakh hectares, generate 960 MW of energy and meet the water needs of industries and 540 villages in Andhra Pradesh.

... this project is being built by the state government. The revised tender was submitted a couple of weeks ago by the state government. Under the new revised bidding agreement, they gave the project completion date in December 2021. So, I hope that by December 2021, this project is finished, Shekhawat said in the Upper House.

When treating it as a national project, the minister said that the Center had agreed to assume the cost of the project based on the 2014 cost estimate. However, a Revised Cost Committee (RCC) was established to study the problem of project cost escalation.

So far, two meetings have been held. At its second meeting in October 2019, the RCC sought details of the Andhra Pradesh government, he said.

The information sought has been with respect to the types of land identified for the acquisition along with their quantities or costs according to the first and second RCC and also the details of the acquisition of the land and the displaced families of the project corresponding to March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2018, he added.

The state has submitted partial information in this regard. The findings or recommendations of the RCC depend on the state government satisfactorily complying with its observation, the minister said.

In response to a supplement on who will assume the scaled cost of the proposed project, including land acquisition, the minister said: The difference is due to the cost of land acquisition and the problem related to R&R. We have searched for information. We will take a call after receiving full status information.

On the displacement of tribes in Odisha due to the large-scale immersion of the Polavaram project, the minister said that the concerns of the Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Telangana governments are pending in the Supreme Court.

The president of Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu, said: Polavaram is the lifeguard of Andhra Pradesh and everything must be done.

The cost of the Polavaram project is linked to Rs 55,548.87 million rupees according to the second revised cost estimate made at the 2017-18 price level, which has been accepted by the Jal Shakti Ministry. The YS Jaganmohan government, ruled by Reddy Andhra Pradesh, had canceled the contracts and had gone to reverse the tender for the Polavaram hydroelectric power station. The main infrastructure of Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) pocketed the order. MJH LUX LUX SHW SHW