Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s much-talked visit to New Delhi began on a hectic note on Thursday with the CM meeting the Union Ministers as soon as he landed.
Armed with a long list of demands that preceded with Polavaram concerns, Jagan Reddy met Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Shekhawat first and had a detailed discussion with him over the fund crunch and the delays hampering the project. The project expenditure has become a bone of contention between the Centre and the State with the project cost shooting up due to changes made to the Relief and Rehabilitation compensation in2013 itself.
The Chief Minister sought approval to investment clearance for the Polavaram project as recommended by PPA & Central Water Commission and accepted by Technical Advisory Committee of the Ministry for Rs 55,656.87 crore at 2017-18 price list at the earliest so that project works, including land acquisition and R&R could be completed as per schedule.
According to reports, the YSRCP chief is seeking financial support from the Centre for the Polavaram irrigation project. “CM Jagan Reddy would discuss pending issues of the State, including the release of funds for Polavaram irrigation project, with the Union Ministers,” a state government release said. “He will negotiate with them about the Polavaram Project and other issues pertaining to the state,” the statement added.
The issue of shifting the headquarters of PPA from Hyderabad to Rajamahendravaram also figured during the discussion. Jagan pointed that it is difficult to supervise and monitor the works from Hyderabad. Earlier the Chief Minister had requested Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar to resolve pending issues regarding environmental clearances related to the stocking works of Polavaram project.
He later met NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajeev Kumar and explained to him the financial situation in the State in view of the impact of Covid-19.