AP: Centre wants PPA authority to explain Jagan’s move

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. (DH Photo)

The Union government has directed the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) to submit a detailed report on the reasons why the YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s government has gone for reverse tendering for the construction of Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh despite its request not to scrap the deal with the Navayuga construction company and not to float new tenders.

The PPA wrote to AP state government on 16 August but the government went ahead and declared reverse tenders for the project and the Hydal power station the very next day, prompting the union government to seek details within a week.

The YS Jaganmohan Reddy government on Saturday floated fresh tenders for works worth Rs 4,900 crore for the completion of Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project on river Godavari.

Central water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat replying a discussion on the security of irrigation projects told Lok Sabha that scrapping of a contract with the existing contractor ie Navayuga Engineering Company and floating fresh tenders will further delay the project and might even result in cost escalation. He also clarified that no complaint of corruption was received or looked into by the union government so far.

Then again speaking with media on 14 August the minister answering a question on the decision of AP government to float reverse tenders, he said that the government is observing the state government’s moves. PPA wrote to AP government not to rush and call for tenders. However, the government gave orders on 17 August. However, Jagan is confident that his move would help bring down the expenditure. The fresh tenders have been called for the completion of balance work on project head including spillway, spill channel, earth-cum-rock-fill dam, coffer dams etc and the 960 mega Watt hydel power station.

Navayuga moves Court

Arguing that the AP government’s move to scrap the deal as unilateral, the Navayuga group have moved High court on Monday. The company’s director Y Ramesh in his petition seeking the court to strike down the government’s move said that the contract between them and the AP Genco was to build 12 hydel power generating unit with a total capacity of 80MW. The contract was signed on 20 December 2017.

“ As per the agreement worth Rs 3220,28 cr the first three units must be completed within 40 days and the rest within 18 months. We are following the deadlines strictly. We even successfully tested the turbines in France,” Navayuga said in its plea. It further said that the company even agreed to bring down the powerhouse 30 meters below the agreed level in February 2019. “Despite that, the land was not handed over to us by the government so far,” the company said.

“On 1 July, the new government under YS Jaganmohan Reddy summoned us for a review and without giving reasons they scrapped the contract. We have spent Rs 398 cr so far. And the agreement is between us and the Genco, not with the government,” the petitioner argued.

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