In what is certain to adversely affect relations between the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government, Jaganmohan Reddy has gone ahead with issuing the notification for reverse tendering of the Polavaram project for works worth Rs 4900 crore. This includes headworks worth Rs 1800 crore and hydel project work worth Rs 3100 crore. Significantly, the state government has finalised the cost at 14 per cent lesser than what the tenders put in 2014.
Earlier, the Jagan regime had cancelled the contract given to Navayuga Engineering, alleging corruption in the Polavaram project. The CM believes Rs 3600 crore was misused in the project.
But the Centre had expressed its displeasure over the decision. Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Shekhawat had said in Parliament that the reverse tendering will increase the cost and delay the project. On Friday, the Polavaram Project Authority CEO RK Jain wrote a strongly-worded letter to the Irrigation secretary, expressing satisfaction over the work undertaken by Navayuga on Polavaram which is a national project being executed by the state government.
“There is neither enough ground nor any necessity for pre-closure of tenders and re-tendering of project works. Such a decision will plunge the project into uncertainty,” Jain wrote in the letter. He also suggested that the entire process be stopped or kept in abeyance till the Centre takes a decision. In short, it did not want Jagan to order reverse tenders.
But the chief minister who is on a visit to the USA till 24 August, by ignoring the Centre’s SOS, has shown he will be his own boss when it comes to matters concerning Andhra Pradesh. It remains to be seen if New Delhi will take this snub lightly.
It is important to note that this Rs 55000 crore irrigation project is a national project and the Centre is paying the bills. Which is why to brush aside the Centre’s objections and concerns will be seen as arrogance on Andhra’s part by New Delhi.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh