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Several projects stalled in Andhra Pradesh as blame game continues

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on July 24, 2019 Published on July 24, 2019

“The construction of the coffer dam and the spillway was not taken up properly," CM blamed the previous TDP government. File Photo   -  The Hindu

The YSRC government is keen on reviewing and revoking contracts awarded by the previous TDP government

Even after two months of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy assuming charge as the second Chief Minister of Navya (new) Andhra Pradesh, several projects are on standstill including the construction of capital city Amravati and Polavaram irrigation.

From the beginning, the YSRC Government was very keen on reviewing, and revoking if necessary, the contracts awarded by the previous TDP Government and proving that “there was massive, unprecedented corruption in all the major projects, viz., the construction of the mega Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari, construction of the new capital Amaravati and several power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed during the TDP regime.”

The expectations were high, as the YSR Congress had made many promises in its election manifesto.

Amaravati

Works at Amaravati have almost come to a standstill, though the Municipal Administration Minister, B Satyanarayana, denies giving any orders to stop the work. “We have appointed a committee to go into the misdeeds of the TDP Government and submit a report. We will take suitable action, resorting to reverse tendering, as the Chief Minister announced, and re-award the works. However, works are going on even now,” he said.

“The new Government has killed the Amaravati project. World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have gone back on the commitment to lend roughly $500 million to the project together after seeing the attitude of the new Government. Brand Amaravati has taken a terrible beating and the real estate has crashed,” alleges former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Polavaram

Works have been stopped at Polavaram project site, and the Chief Minister has squarely blamed the former Chief Minister for it. “The construction of the coffer dam and the spillway was not taken up properly and as a result during the flood season works have to be stopped now. There was huge corruption in Polavaram works too. The expert committee going into the issue will expose the TDP in a fortnight or so,” he said in the State Assembly.

According to the CM, the works at Polavaram will resume by September and they would be hastened from then on.

PPA row

A huge row has been raging in the State over the review of the power purchase agreements relating to wind and solar energy by the new Government. Alleging massive corruption in the PPAs, the YSRC Government is going ahead with the review, even though the Centre has advised the State Government against it, and several experts in the field have also cautioned the new Government.

Sand scarcity

Another issue causing a lot of concern is the sand scarcity in the state, affecting the construction sector. The new Government has scrapped the old policy and the new policy is likely to be ready by September. Meanwhile, the collectors of different districts have been instructed to ensure sand supply for the construction sector, but it is not working. Sand prices have risensteeply and there is great scarcity.

Ch. Ramakotaiah, a builder constructing a mini stadium in Vizianagaram town, said, "I think the new Government should take cognizance of the problem and take immediate corrective steps. Work has stopped and we are quite helpless."

Meanwhile, in the ongoing Budget session of the State Assembly, the YSR Congress members are going hard at the former chief minister and his alleged misdeeds. “I have no problem, if Jaganmohan Reddy and his party want to settle scores with me or my party. But they should realise that their vindictive actions are causing lasting damage to the prospects of the State. We have nothing to hide or fear,” the former Chief Minister said.

Published on July 24, 2019
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