Reimburse Polavaram funds: AP CM writes to Centre

Being a revenue deficit state, Andhra Pradesh has been devoid of funds. Yet, it had taken up the Polavaram Project on the Godavari River after the Government of India’s assurance of providing funds for the prestigious irrigation project.

 In this direction, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu wrote a letter to the Union Ministry for Water Resources, seeking an early reimbursement of Rs. 3,722 crore for the ongoing project. 
Addressing the letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the Chief Minister said that the Centre has allocated meagre funds despite repeated requests from the state. “To ensure that the work does not stop for the project, the State is using its meagre resources.

But, now the spending on the project is affecting other flagship programmes of the state severely,” he explained. So far, about Rs 15,380.97 crore has been spent on the project. 
After the Polavaram irrigation project was declared a national project, the Central government reimbursed Rs. 6,727.26 crore and is yet to release the balance Rs 3,722 crore to the State, he added.

“The last reimbursement received from Government of India was on June 11, 2018. Since then, there is no reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the State government until now,” Naidu stated in the letter. 
Over 64 per cent of project works has been completed so far. The State government has been making timely payment for the project “severely restraining its capacity to fund other development and welfare programmes with its limited revenues and resources,” he said.
“Unless these amounts (which are due to us) are reimbursed immediately by the Government of India, the country is likely to lose a golden opportunity to complete a national project which is benefitting over five States directly,” the Chief Minister added, reflecting the sentiment of the people of Andhra Pradesh. 
The Chief Minister also request the Centre to take immediate action to release the reimbursement of Rs.3,722 crore and also approve the revised cost estimate of the project submitted to the Centre Water Commission (CWC) in August 2017.

He also informed that the State government had bagged the Central Board of Irrigation and Power Award for speedy execution of the Polavaram project. The project is a lifeline for Andhra Pradesh as it has the potential to drought-proof the state.

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