Former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar flays Chandrababu Naidu's 'flip-flop' on Polavaram

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar lashed out at Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for his ‘lies’ on Polavaram project. Addressing media-persons in Rajamahendravaram on Wednesday, a day after the Chief Minister stated in the Assembly that execution of Polavaram project was entrusted to the State government on the recommendation of NITI Aayog, the former MP said Naidu was giving a different statement on the issue every other day.

He said the Centre clearly stated that Polavaram execution was entrusted to the State on the request of the Naidu government.  “It is clearly mentioned in the note issued by the Finance Department,” he said while showing the copy of the same.  

With regard to the part of the project contract given to Navayuga company, Arun Kumar recalled the CM claiming the firm came forward to do the work as per old rates even though it would suffer losses as it wanted to do it for the name.

“Now, he says Navayuga was recommended by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. More importantly, his claims of Navayuga is doing it for the old price is not true. The company was entrusted the work at the project cost of `1,254 crore, which are the rates of 2017-18 and not 2013-14, as being claimed,” he said.
The former MP questioned as to why Naidu was misleading the people and telling the blatant lies on Polavaram. He asked the CM to direct his officials to give a reply to the five-page letter written to the Principal Secretary (Irrigation) and Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation).

“Contents of the letter are not my imagination, but are the contents of the minutes of the Polavaram Project Authority meetings,” he said and explained that when Polavaram Project Authority asked for revised estimates and transfer of assets and liabilities since its first meeting in March 2015, the state never obliged. When it was questioned in the second PPA meeting, the answer was the revised estimates would be prepared in 10 days. “Even when the PPA clearly explained that Polavaram was a national project and can not be made  AIBP project, pressure was built on them to release funds treating it as a normal AIBP project and grant 90 percent funds to it,” he said.

When Chandrababu Naidu government said State will bear the power component cost, the PPA asked the State to submit whatever works they wanted to do. “It took them another 18 months to give that report,” he said and clarified that works did not commence till 2016.

He sought to know whether the officials were aware of the fact that as per provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, Polavaram was to be executed by the Centre.

He sought to know why the revised estimates  based on the current prices were not submitted to the PPA between March 2015 and September 2016 in spite of repeated requests.

He questioned as to why the transfer of assets and liabilities of the project to the PPA was delayed on one pretext or another until the project execution was given to the State. He asked if there were any standing instructions from the CM or the minister concerned in this regard.

Arun Kumar wanted to know if the officials were aware of the net burden on the State exchequer consequent to the request for construction of power component with state funds.

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