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No politics in Polavaram project, funds will be released: Gadkari

No politics in Polavaram project, funds will be released: Gadkari

Vijayawada July 11 (UNI) Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari, accompanied Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, inspected the progress of Polavaram project, being constructed across the river Godavari at Polavaram village in West Godavari district on Wednesday.

The Union Minister inspected the progress of spillway works and other civil works of the project. The project engineering explained the Union Minister the progress of the Polavaram project, which was accorded national status by the Centre.

Later, talking to media at the project, Nitin Gadkari said that the Narendra Modi led Centre is very much interested in completing the Polavaram project at the earliest. “We do not want do politics on the Polavaram project. We do not want to mix up development activities with politics” he made it clear.

Mr.Gadkari said that they had to justify the increase of costs of civil works, land acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R). He said that the land acquisition and R&R package costs increased more than double as the government is to disburse compensation as per new Land Acquisition Act.

“Funds for the project is not a problem. We have a lot of money in NABARD. But we have to take approval from the Finance Ministry for the increased Civil and R&R costs. The previous DPR was changed and we justify the increase in the cost of the project. Now the total cost of the project is about Rs.60,000 crore,” he said, adding that Rs.30,000 crore to be spent for land acquisition and R&R package.

Mr.Gadkari asked Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to send officials concerned to Delhi and he would resolve all the problems regarding the project. He also assured the contractors to release funds. He attributed delay in the releasing funds to the project to technical reasons. Mr.Gadkari said that he wants inspect the works in March first week in 2019 and asked contractors to complete civil works by February as election code of conduct would enforce.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said that due to new land Acquisition Act 2013, the land acquisition cost had gone up to Rs.30,000 crore from Rs.2,290 crore. He said that the construction of diaphragm wall was completed, 90 per cent Right Main Canal works completed and Left main canal works are in progress.

The Chief Minister said that the government aimed to complete the construction of project by December 2019. He appealed the Union Minister to ensure that funds are released at the earliest. Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa, State Water Resources minister D Umamaheshwara Rao among a host of ministers, MPs and MLAs who were present

UNI DP RJ 2316

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