Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Monday said he will be visiting New Delhi shortly to meet leaders of regional parties to discuss the possibility of forming an anti-BJP national front. “I will meet whoever is available. It is not a ‘mahaghathbhandan’ but we are trying to form an anti-BJP front,” Naidu said.
The CM was at Polavaram to congratulate engineers of Navayuga Engineering company which set a world record by pouring 32,315 cubic metres of concrete in 24 hours. “Polavaram is the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh and we will complete the project come what may. The Centre owes us Rs 3,722 crores for Polavaram. So far Andhra Pradesh has spent Rs 15,585 crores on Polavaram of which Centre has reimbursed only Rs 6,727 crores. We won’t stop the project for lack of funds. It is a matter of life and death for the state so we will complete the project,” Naidu said.
The state has submitted a revised detailed project report (DPR) to the Centre on Polavaram project. According to the revised estimates, the cost of the project would now be Rs 58,000 crores. This includes Rs 33,000 crores for land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation; Rs 11,000 crores for constructing the main earth cum rockfill dam; Rs 4,500 crores each for the construction of right bank canal Vijayawada and left bank canal to Visakhapatnam, and Rs 4,500 crores for the power plant. The state submitted the DPR and supporting documents running around one lakh pages.
Naidu said the Polavaram project will help to interlink 140 big and small rivers in Andhra Pradesh and deliver water to Rayalaseema, which has recorded low rainfall in 16 of the last 20 years.
Project officials said when the dam height reaches 41.15 metres, water will start flowing in the right and left bank canals through gravity — the RBM taking water up to Visakhapatnam from where it would be pumped to Srikakulam in north Andhra. The left bank canal will take water to Prakashan barrage at Vijayawada from where it will be pumped towards Rayalaseema. Naidu claimed that due to Pattiseema project which interlinked Godavari to Krishna, agriculture in Andhra Pradesh grew to 11 per cent and created an agricultural economy of Rs 44,000 crores.