Centre gives Rs 1400 cr to State for Polavaram

The Central government had released Rs 1400 crore to the State for the Polavaram Project. The amount, which is due for the 2017-18 financial year, was released finally in the new financial year 2018-19. This amount had come as part of the previous detail project report (DPR) sent by the State based on the prices prior to the bifurcation.

As per the old rates and the initial DPR, the project is estimated to cost Rs 12,294 crore of which the State government had spent Rs 5,136 crore on the project. Though the State had asked the Centre to give this amount too, after bifurcation, the Centre did not agree for it, which is now the bone of contention between the State and the Centre. In the revised DPR, the State government had put the total cost at Rs 20,509 crore for the project and another Rs 33,225 crore for the rehabilitation and resettlement for the project displaced families under the new Land Acquisition Act of 2013. The Central government had raised several objections to this revised DPR and the talks are on between the two governments.

Meanwhile, while welcoming the Central government’s initiative of releasing the money to the State for Polavaram, the State government is planning to write to the Centre to speed up the process of releasing funds for the project as per the new DPR. With the latest payment of Rs 1400 crore, the Central government had paid so far Rs 6,764 crore to the State against the initial estimate of Rs 12,294 crore. The balance stands now at Rs 394 crore if the Centre refuses to take the revised DPR and goes by the old DPR. However, the State is not accepting the old DPR on the ground that it was prepared basing on the existing land acquisition Act and not as per the 2013 Act, where the compensation is more and the R & R package is more.

The sources said that the State government is planning to write to the Central government on this in a day or two. If the Central government refuses to accept the revised DPR, that would be the new contentious issue between the TDP government in the State and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

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