Reverse tendering to delay Polavaram project: Officials

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. DH file photo

The Polavaram Project Authority on Tuesday said that the reverse tendering process opted by the Andhra Pradesh government will delay the Polavaram project further. This comes as a jolt to the Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s government.

An emergency meeting of the authority here at the Central Water Commission (CWC) office here at AC Guards opined that there was no fault of the contractor, and the work done so far has been good.

Speaking to media after the meeting R K Jain, chairman of the authority said that the reverse tendering will not only delay the project but will also escalate the expenditure. “At this juncture, we can’t say how much will be the escalation,” he said.

The meeting which went on up to five hours focused on scrapping of the existing tenders and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement package (R&R). The authority directed the state irrigation department officials to submit a report on the status of the project.

Recently, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had said that pre-closure notices served on the contracting agency Navayuga Engineering Company Limited could escalate the cost of the project. He had also reminded that the onus of completing the project was with the state government.

The decision to go for reverse tendering was taken by Jagan in view of alleged irregularities during the previous Naidu regime. The state constituted an expert committee which confirmed the government's point of view. In its report on 24 July, the committee said that there were irregularities to the tune of Rs 3797 crore.

Following this, the government served a pre-closure notice to the project agency Navayuga. After re-tendering the project works were to commence on 1 November this year.

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