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AP State needs Rs.20,000 cr. for completing projects

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed the government's commitment to complete pending irrigation projects over the next five years and said that they entailed an expenditure of Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 crore. Barring Polavaram Left Main Canal (PLMC) and Vamsadhara expansion, the other projects -- Thotapalli, Pattiseema, Polavaram Right Main Canal, Galeru-Nagari and Handri-Neeva-- would be completed by March / June 2016. PLMC and Vamsadhara are will be completed by June 2017.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to bring 100 tmcft water from Godavari river to the Krishna this year. Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said government was waiting for reimbursement of Rs. 2,000 crore spent on Polavaram by the Central government. The Centre has paid back Rs.300 crore recently. Being a national project, the State government was arguing that it should be undertaken by the Centre. A sum of Rs.11,300 crore was spent on pending projects after the TDP came to power. If the projects were to be continued by paying existing rates, the cost would be nearly Rs.17,965 crore and in the event of their cancellation and re-tendering, the State has to garner additional Rs.6,740 crore.

He said the government was working in a mission mode to increase the ground water levels to – 3 metres post-monsoon and to retain them at – 8 metres before rains. The Irrigation and Water Resources Department was warming up to the task of making 2,390 tmcft available to agriculture, 240 tmcft to industries, 86 tmcft for drinking and 34 for other needs. It took up necessary measures like constructing rain water harvesting structures, check dams, and farm ponds which would serve as recharge wells during the dry season. Of 3.95 crore acres of land in the State, 1.99 crore acres were found to be suitable for agriculture and horticulture.

Deadlines:- Mr. Naidu called upon the contractors to stick to deadlines having benefited from government's cooperation in the form of fortnightly and even weekly payments and logistical support. Otherwise, those who fail to meet the expectations would be blacklisted, he said. Similarly, performance appraisals of engineers from the chief engineer level to field supervisor level were sought to regard those delivering results and cracking the whip on derelict ones.

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