Faced with fund crunch, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu today shot off a letter to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, demanding reimbursement of Rs. 3,722 crore for the ongoing Polavaram project on Godavari river.
The state is providing funds for the project from its "meager resources" to ensure the ongoing work doesn't stop, but this is affecting other flagship state-programmes, said Naidu.
Center only reimbursed Rs. 6,727.26 crore to the Andhra government
Stating the data, Naidu said, "So far, about Rs. 15,380.97 crore has been spent on the project. After the Polavaram irrigation project was declared as the national project, the central government reimbursed Rs. 6,727.26 crore and is yet to release the balance Rs. 3,722 crore to the state."
He said the last reimbursement received from the Government of India was on June 11, 2018.
Since June 11, Center didn't reimburse any expenditure: Naidu
"Since June 11, there is no reimbursement of expenditure already incurred by the state government so far," Naidu said in the letter.
Over 64% of the overall project has been completed so far. The state government has been making timely payment for the project by "severely restraining" its capacity to fund other development and welfare programmes with its limited revenues and resources, he said.
'Reimbursement necessary to complete national project benefiting five states directly'
"Unless the amounts which are due to us are reimbursed immediately by the Government of India, the country is likely to lose a golden opportunity to complete a national project which is benefiting more than five states directly," said Naidu.
Naidu, also the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief, demanded that the Center should take immediate action to release the reimbursement of Rs. 3,722 crore.
Andhra received CBIP award for speedy execution of Polavaram project
The TDP chief also demanded the approval of the revised cost estimate of the project submitted to the Center Water Commission (CWC) in August 2017.
He also informed that the state government has bagged the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) award for speedy execution of the Polavaram project, which is a lifeline of Andhra Pradesh.