Polavaram Expenses Under Scanner; Centre Returns Reimbursement Bills 

Cost escalation comes under scanner - Sakshi Post

Raising questions on the cost escalation of Polavaram project, the Union Government, according to reliable sources, has asked the Andhra Pradesh Government to route all the reimbursement bills through the Polavaram Authority.

A couple of months back, the state government has submitted bills seeking a reimbursement of Rs 3, 600 crores. But, after keeping them pending for quite some time the Union Water Resources Ministry has reportedly sent back the bills to the State Government, asking it to send the same through proper channel ie., through the Polavaram Authority, a competent body constituted to supervise the project construction and fund utilization. Besides, the Union Water Resources Minister also raised 28 questions related to the Polavaram project seeking clarification.

In fact, the Union Government had expressed doubts about the proper utilization of the funds and made it clear to the State Government that any cost escalation should be borne by the Andhra Pradesh Government and not the Centre. According to media reports, the Union Government has its own doubts about the utilization of funds and has constituted the Polavaram Authority to check any misuse of funds.

It may be recalled here that the Central government had sent an official to assess the total quantum of works completed and the expenditure incurred so far. Basing on the report, the Union Government has expressed serious concern on the goings on.

It may be further recalled here that the Chandrababu Naidu Government had awarded the Polavaram contract to Trans Troy; a contract firm owned by TDP MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, even though the company is a black-listed one. It was widely alleged that the Chandrababu Naidu government had escalated the project cost from Rs. 15,000 crores to 40, 000 crores to favour the party MP. It was also widely reported in the press that Chandrababu Naidu, his son Lokesh and the Irrigation Minister Devineni Uma have conspired to make big bucks from the deal. Now with the Central Government putting its foot down, Chandrababu Naidu is in soup.

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