Asserting that completing Polavaram project is top most priority for the Modi Government, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has outlined two important projects as part of six river connectivity projects.
One of them was utilising Indravati surplus water and Polavaram backwaters linking Krishna, Pennar and Kaveri, he said addressing a meeting of BJP leaders here on Thursday.
In the project estimated to cost Rs. 50,000 crore, 700 tmc ft to 800 tmc ft could be saved reaching the tail-end areas of Tamil Nadu solving the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and benefiting the entire South. This would be in addition to the Polavaram project, he said.
Another project is taking water to Nagarjunasagar and from there to Somasila for which the DPR was ready, Mr. Gadkari said.
The two projects were sent to Union Cabinet for approval and they would by and large solve the water problems in the South, the Minister said. On the land required for Polavaram project almost doubling, he said WAPCOS Limited, under the Ministry of Water Resources would be asked to verify the facts.
Mr. Gadkari said he had asked the contractors to complete the civil works of the project by February.
In view of the problem of land acquisition, he had suggested the technical feasibility of construction of a ‘compound wall.’
The Union Minister said the cost of civil works also had gone up with the scope of work increasing in the new DPR and the previous DPR was not perfect, the Minister said.
Work would be sanctioned in transparent and time-bound manner, he said.
Assuring that R&R issues would get top priority, Mr. Gadkari said tribals would be assured housing, education, health and skill development.
The Minister stressed the importance of making ethanol and methanol-based fuel from agriculture produce with the ultimate by diverting Rs. 2 lakh crore of the Rs. 8 lakh crore import bill of crude oil to agriculture.
MP K. Haribabu said the Government of India itself would appoint a committee to study feasibility of location in the place of Dugarajapatnam port.
The Government of India’s request to suggest alternative to the State Government did not elicit any reply, he said.
To address the concerns over DCI privatisation, Mr. Gadkari had taken special interest to see that it was in government sector.
Minister of State for Shipping P. Radhakrishnan wanted the South to send more MPs to form the government again.
Minister of State for Shipping M.L. Mandaviya said change in several sectors and development were happening in India because of the Modi Government.
A representation was submitted by Polavaram Nirvasita Samkshema Sangham.
Party senior leader P.V. Chalapathi Rao, former Union Ministers Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and U.V. Krishnam Raju, BJP Floor Leader in the Assembly P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, MLC P.V.N. Madhav and BJP City president M. Nagendra participated.
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