The South Asian Times

17 January 2018 16:47 PM

Naidu put Rs 30,000 cr burden on Andhra: Congress MP

By IANS

New Delhi, Nov 30: Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao on Thursday accused Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu of putting an "avoidable burden" of Rs 30,000 crore on the state by agreeing to partly bear the expenditure on the Polavaram dam.

Rao said the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre had accorded the dam the status of a 'national project' in 2014 and decided to take up the construction at its own cost, including escalations.

"Subsequently, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government declared it would bear the project cost as of April 1, 2014, thus putting Rs 30,000 crore burden on the state government," he told reporters here.

The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured Parliament that the project cost would be borne by the Centre, he said.

"The BJP government, on suggestion of the NITI Aayog, put the condition that it would bear the project cost only up to April 1, 2014. So, the Andhra Pradesh government is supposed to take care of the remaining cost. There are many doubts about how funds will be arranged for the dam project. Naidu has lied to the people about flow of funds," he said.

Rao said he has written an open letter to Naidu to demand answers to various aspects of the Polavaram dam, being built on the Godavari river.

"Why has Naidu, President of Telugu Desam Party, accepted the proposal was a real mystery," Rao said.

The Congress MP said the way Naidu had compromised with the Centre clearly showed his "helplessness and incompetence".

"It clearly shows that you are scared of speaking against the Centre and want to complete the project with whatever little funds the Centre would release, thereby imposing additional burden on the state," Rao said in the letter.

Update: 30 Nov, 2017

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