Chandrababu doomed Polavaram, rectifying TDP regime's blunders: Jagan

Jaganmohan Reddy turned the heat on the Telugu Desam Party for its allegations on the delay of the Polavaram project

Jaganmohan Reddy

AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday turned the heat on the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for its allegations on the delay of the Polavaram project during a debate in the Legislative Assembly. Squarely blaming Chandrababu Naidu and the inept policies of the previous TDP regime, he said that the way the national project work was handled showed that Chandrababu Naidu was unfit to even become an MLA.

The third-day of the proceedings also saw the suspension of the TDP members for creating a ruckus and frequently interrupting the Chief Minister's speech. The TDP members took exception to the Chief Minister's criticism of their party over the Polavaram issue.

YS Jagan, during his speech in the Assembly, provided photographic data, which he said, was evidence enough to expose the lapses on the part of Chandrababu Naidu when he was the chief minister. This led to a delay in the prestigious Polavaram Project, he claimed. The Chief Minister elaborated on how mindless engineering approvals were given during the TDP regime that jeopardised the lives of thousands. He stated that the present YSRCP government was rectifying those blunders which was causing a delay in the completion of the project.

Jagan also spoke of how, in September 2018, the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the Spillway Gallery and made a media spectacle of the same when in reality not even half of the Spillway works were complete. He then explained how Chandrababu Naidu gave approval for building the spillway in June 2019 without completing the works of the approach channel. "In fact, the approach channel was completed by our government in August 2022," Jagan said.

Giving a detailed pictorial representation of how lives were risked for petty gains, the Chief Minister explained how River Godavari, which was supposed to flow uninterrupted for a 2.1 km long stretch given its flow, was choked by faulty engineering approved by the TDP Government. "The river was made to pass through two narrow gaps of 380 metres and 300 metres each. The downstream cofferdam was restricted to 680 metres and 120 metres – a move that risked the lives of thousands residing on the banks of the river," he lamented.

Later, Jagan explained how, in the last two years, the YSRCP government was trying to undertake scouring works on priority to undo the major engineering lapses sanctioned by the TDP. It was because of this reason that the project was getting delayed. The Chief Minister gave his assurance that once rains receded by November, work on the project would be completed on a war-footing.

Our govt's R&R package far better than the TDP regime's

Hitting back at the Opposition, Jagan said that the State government had announced a better package than the previous one towards R&R package. He claimed that the TDP had goofed up the project economics which were being rectified.

The Chief Minister said, "as assured, we have issued orders to hike the compensation to Rs 10 lakh from the Rs 6.86 lakhs announced by the previous government with the reservoir height marked at 41.15 metres, keeping dam security in view. Of the total 1,06,006 DPs (Displaced Persons) 20,946 come under the 41.15 metre reservoir level of which 14,110 were already paid and for the remaining, steps are afoot to pay the amount which will go directly into the bank account of the beneficiaries. The 14,110 DPs were paid a compensation of Rs 19,060 crores. Efforts are on to pay the compensation for the remaining 6,836 by October 2022," he said.

He further stated: "We announced that those who got compensation of a meagre 1.5 lakh would also get Rs 5 lakh and we are committed to it. While the TDP in five years had paid compensation to 3,073 persons spending Rs 193 crore only, our government in three years has paid Rs 1,773 crore to 10,330 persons," he claimed.

The Chief Minister was also critical of the previous government's nonchalance in securing the Central funds. "Chandrababu Naidu's inefficient governance has blocked Rs 2,900 crores which we were to be received from the Centre and goofed up the project progress by accepting a special package which was not there. A comparative glance of the data between the previous government and our government will clearly show that we have more commitment towards the project and compensation. We are striving to redeem the amount," he said.

Jagan gave a power point presentation on the Polavaram Project and exposed what he called the inefficiency of the previous government in the construction work. He questioned as to how Chandrababu Naidu agreed for the cost as on 2011 for an ongoing project.

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