The State leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have pinned their hopes on the proposed visit of Union Minister for Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari, to the Polavaram project to ratify their allegations of corruption against the State government.
The BJP leaders have visited the project site two weeks ago and made several corruption charges against the State government. As the project is a national project and the Central government is funding it, though delayed, the BJP leaders are sore with the State government for not giving credit to the party or the Central government. The BJP leaders wanted the State government to keep Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph at the project site to give due credit to the Central government.
The BJP leaders complain that the TDP is taking total claim for the project though the Central government is funding it. Besides this, the BJP leaders found a huge bungling of funds in the name of land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation of the project oustees. The State government claimed this total package at around Rs 38,000 crore on which the BJP leadership had raised doubts. While the State government attributes this increase of expenditure to the latest 2013 Land Acquisition Act, the BJP leaders see misappropriations in the calculations of this compensation, besides the revision of the project cost as per the 2013-14 prices against the original 2010-11 prices.
Interestingly, the BJP leaders have sent a detailed report to the Union Minister after their visit to the project site and it is said that the Union Minister had decided to visit the site on July 11. The BJP leaders say that Nitin Gadkhari would expose the financial mismanagement of the project, while the TDP leaders are getting ready to mount pressure on the Minister to release funds at a faster rate. The TDP leaders are also set to blame the Minister for inordinate delay in release of funds where the State government is spending in advance.
It was just a week ago, Minister for Water Resources, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao had said that the State government was paying nearly Rs 300 crore towards interest on the money spent for the project from the State exchequer and blamed the Central government and the BJP leadership for the delay in reimbursement. It is said that there around Rs 2,000 crore yet to be reimbursed by the Centre in the project and the TDP leaders are now getting armed with these facts to hit at the BJP during the Minister’s visit.
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