The Union Ministry of Jal Shakti has called for a comprehensive report from the Polavaram Project Authority Chief Executive Officer, R.K. Jain, on the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the works awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited and floating of the reverse tenders with effect from Monday.
The Centre’s diktat comes just two days after the State government invited reverse tenders for Polavaram project power house and head works estimated to cost ₹4,988 crore in apparent disregard of the advice by the PPA to abandon the idea of pre-closure and re-tendering, as it could lead to delay in works and cost escalation.
The PPA is expected to furnish details of expenditure incurred on the project so far, bills pending clearance by the Centre and the complications involved in the reverse tendering process. It may be noted that in his communication to Andhra Pradesh Government Special Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Aditya Nath Das on August 16, Mr. Jain advised that the State government should refrain from re-tendering the works in the best interests of the project or at least keep it in abeyance till the Central government took a considered view of the matter.
Broad policy decision
However, the State government issued the notification for reverse tenders the next day itself purportedly on the basis of a report of the expert committee that irregularities in the project cost the exchequer dear.
These tenders are in tune with the YSR Congress Party government’s review of all projects undertaken by the previous government to possibly bring down the costs and pin responsibility on those who purportedly siphoned off money on a large scale by exploiting the loopholes in the EPC clause.