New Delhi: Faced with huge fund crunch, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu shot off a letter Monday to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, demanding early reimbursement of Rs 3,722 crore for the ongoing Polavaram project on Godavari river.
The state is making available funds for the project from its ‘meagre resources’ to ensure that ongoing work does not stop, but this is affecting other flagship state programmes severely, Naidu wrote.
So far, about Rs 15,380.97 crore has been spent on the project. After the Polavaram irrigation project was declared as 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, June 11, 2018. Since then, there is no reimbursement of expenditure already incurred by the state government so far,” Naidu said in the letter.
“Over 64 per cent of the overall project 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.
“Unless the amounts 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 more than five states directly,” Naidu further added.
Meanwhile, in another development, Gadkari said in Amaravati that the Centre would soon take up a major project to link rivers Godavari and Cauvery that would resolve water issues between four southern states.
The objective of the project, expected to cost up to Rs 60,000 crore, is to make good use of about 1,100 tmc ft of Godavari water that currently gets drained into the sea,” Gadkari informed.
“The detailed project report for linking rivers Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery is ready. We will soon present it to the Cabinet for approval,” Gadkari told BJP workers here.
Thereafter, we will raise finances for the project either from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank as the project cost is about Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore,” the minister added.
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