Vijayawada: The Central government is examining the Andhra Pradesh government's request to consider 2017-18 prices for the Polavaram Project cost. The Union minister for water resources, Gajendra Singh Shekawat, told Rajya Sabha on 8 February that there was no financial constraint for the project.

Member of Rajya Sabha and YSRCP leader V. Vijaya Sai Reddy reminded the minister that in March 2020 he had told the Lok Sabha that the Revised Cost Committee had recommended the revised estimates at Rs. 47,725 crore. However, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had given clearance for Rs. 55,656.87 crores as per 2017-18 price level. Mr. Reddy further added that the state government so far has spent over Rs. 2,500 crores of its own money for the national project. He asked when the ministry was planning to approve the revised amount cleared by the TAC.

In reply to Mr. Reddy's question, the minister said that under the AP Reorganization Act when the Polavaram Project was declared a national project it was decided that the state government would undertake it. The ministry of finance moved the Cabinet note of the Act under which it was stated that the project would be completed under the 2013-14 price level and price escalation post this would not be authorized. The RCC has worked out the estimate as of 2017 and the matter after this is yet to be discussed. This would then be finalized and would be sent to the Cabinet and what the Cabinet finally decides will be taken up, the minister added.

He also said that as far as flow of funds is concerned, there are no difficulties involved. "When it was decided that PIP would be a national project, it was also decided that it would be paid in reimbursement mode. The money is raised from LTIF and NABARAD and given to the state government based on the bills and documents they submit which are then verified and funds released. I think the difficulties are not involved in the flow of funds. I think the state government needs to focus and expedite the process of R&R-related issues. This project can then be completed at the pace desired by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh," Mr. Shekawat said.

Jagan reviews key projects in Amaravati, Vizag

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy reviewed key projects under the Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) here on 8 February.

During a review meeting held at the camp office, the Chief Minister also reviewed the proposals for a project covering 13.59 acres of the coastline in Vishakapatnam. The previous government had leased the land to Lulu group at a nominal price for 33 years. Jagan also reviewed some proposals which are intended to increase the government's revenue.

Meanwhile, the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd. (NBCC) and APIIC explained the details of their proposals to the Chief Minister. NBCC estimated that construction of commercial plazas and residential complexes will bring in at least Rs. 1,450 crores net income to the government.

Regarding projects under AMRDA, the officials explained the proposals for expansion of Karakatta road into four-lane road at an estimated cost of Rs. 150 crore. The Chief Minister said this road is crucial for the development of Amaravati region and directed the officials to complete the construction of the road soon. He asked them to develop all the roads connected to this road and to expedite the works related to connecting seed access road to the main road.

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