AP move sad and costly, says Union minister in Lok Sabha- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: A day after the news broke out that the YSRC government issued contract termination notice to the Polavaram project contractor, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that the decision would become a new impediment for executing the project, besides leading to cost escalation.

To a query during discussion on the Dam Safety Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the Union Minister termed the pre-closure and termination of the contract unfortunate. “The responsibility of project execution lies with the Andhra Pradesh government. It saddens me to inform the House that the State government on Thursday cancelled the tender awarded to the concessionaire. This would become a new impediment and we don’t know how much time it would take for its completion. It would also result in escalation of the project cost,” he explained.

For the record, the State government issued termination notice for pre-closure of the Polavaram contract of Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd (NECL), following the recommendations of the expert committee, which found fault with awarding the contract on nomination basis. The government had also decided to cancel the contract given to NECL for the execution of 960 MW hydel power plant.

The Energy department has already informed APGENCO to proceed with the termination. Responding to another query on reimbursement of the funds spent on the project, Shekhawat said, “Polavaram has been declared a national project. The Ministry of Finance sought a few details with regard to audit of the expenditure made so far. About `5,000 crore was spent on Right and Left Main Canals, out of which audit of `3,000 crore has been completed. Once the remaining audit is done, the funds will be reimbursed.”

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