The Union government seems to be so upset with the AP government these days. The adverse comments came particularly after the AP government had shown the doors to the Polavaram Project contractor – the Navayuga Group – a day before. It took no time for the Union government to react to the State government’s decision.
The Union government was upset for another decision of the State government in the past. It had expressed its displeasure and even objections to the State government’s decision to review the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The Union energy ministry’s secretary had written a letter to the State government advising not to go for the PPAs review. As the State did not consider this letter, the Union Minister for Energy himself had written a letter against the PPAs review.
Now, the adverse comments from the Union Minister for Water Resources on dropping the contractor from the Project. The Polavaram Project is to be constructed by the Central government with its own funds as per the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, but was left to the State on the request of the previous Telugu Desam Party government. The debt-ridden and revenue-deficit State is investing from its borrowed money, while the Centre takes its own time to reimburse making it financially difficult for the State to handle the project. In a way, the Central government is more irresponsible towards the State and the project.
The second is that Navayuga is not the original contractor of the project. The Navayuga was roped in by the TDP government keeping the original contractor – the Transstroy – aside. Moreover, the expert committee had found several irregularities and violations of the contract agreement in the project execution. The expert committee had suggested a single contract for both the project engineering works and the hydel works for better coordination. Neither the TDP government nor the Central government have focused on the rehabilitation and resettlement issues in the project. The two governments have turned deaf ears to the cries of the over a lakh displaced families for rehabilitation. Now that there is some flood water in the project, the families are fearing the threat of submersion and it is where the failure of the previous governments is seen clearly.
With all these irregularities and irresponsibility, the BJP or the TDP or even the Central government have lost their right to make any adverse comment on the decisions of the State, which is now focusing on the rehabilitation on priority and ending corruption in the project.