Charges of corruption in Polavaram project under examination

The of the government has been asked to "examine" allegations of "corruption and irregularities" in the execution of the multipurpose project. The Project Authority (PPA) gave the direction after receiving a letter from the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). The PMO wrote the letter after a retired lecturer, J Choudaraiah, petitioned it alleging "large-scale corruption and irregularities" in the project's execution. The PMO, based on the petition filed by Choudaraiah, a resident of Rajamahendravaram, directed the PPA to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. Accordingly, PPA member-secretary R K Gupta wrote a letter on January 9 to AP Engineer-in-Chief, Water Resources Department, to "examine" the case and furnish a reply. "It is requested that the case may be examined from your end and a suitable reply to the petitioner may please be sent, with a copy of the same enclosed to this office," Gupta said in the letter to the Engineer-in-Chief, citing the PMO missive dated January 3. "This is just a departmental inquiry and not a statutory inquiry as such. We will reply (to the PPA and the petitioner) accordingly," a of the water resources department said, making light of the complaint about graft in the project. Opposition parties had been alleging for some time now that the was only interested in "kickbacks" and hence had taken up the execution task on itself though was declared a national project. "The has only mala fide intentions of kickbacks as it took over the project from the Centre.

The has been creating confusion over with vested interests," alleged. "The issue has only backfired with the (project) estimates and other calculations going awry," said Reddy, who hails from the YSR "From Rs 16,010 crore, the cost of has been increased to Rs 58,310 crore without any rationale. The cost enhancement did not happen in accordance with the Central Water Commission guidelines," said Committee N Raghuveera Reddy. Is the ready for a public debate on " Raghuveera Reddy asked.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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