People facing displacement were left out in the cold, says Minister
Irrigation Minister P. Anil Kumar Yadav on Monday said the TDP’s claim of completion of 70% work on the Polavaram irrigation project during its rule was false as barely 20 % of work was completed.
Speaking to newsmen at the rehabilitation colony here, Mr. Anil Kumar said: “Mere ₹17,000 crore was spent on the project during TDP rule, and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement issues were largely ignored, leaving the 1.5 lakh oustees to their fate.”
“The project can be said to have been completed only after the affected families’ concerns are addressed, for which a whopping ₹33,000 crore is earmarked. The Vigilance wing, which is looking into the irregularities in the execution of works, is yet to come out with its report. The State government has been able to save ₹800 crore through reverse tendering,” he said. All the 17,000 families which are living in areas falling in the 41.5 contour of the project would be shifted to the rehabilitation colonies by early August to protect them from flood fury. The immediate priority is to shift 4,000 families to the four colonies by July-end to avoid any loss,” the Minister said.
Accompanied by Polavaram Special officer O. Anand, Mr. Anil Kumar inspected the progress of construction at the rehabilitation colonies at Kamalapalem, Pothavaram-2, Musallakunta in Devipatnam mandal and Krishnunipalem in Gokavaram mandal of East Godavari district.
“The migrant workers deployed at the Polavaram project and rehabilitation work sites have returned after the lockdown was lifted. However, only half of the work is being done,” he said.
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Commissioner T. Baburao Naidu and officials concerned were told to speed up works to achieve the targets.
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