In a vitriolic attack on the way Pattiseema bids are carried out, Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is rushing through the Pattiseema project with an eye on Rs 300 crore kickbacks.
Addressing farmers on the second day of his three-day 'Project Bagta' at Prakasam Barraige in Vijayawada, he alleged that Naidu has been covering up every goof-up in the bids to the project which threatens the existence of Polavaram and put farmers at a disadvantage.
He lamented that the Chief Minister has changed the pre-requirements only to suit two of his most favoured contractors for the bids and when they have quoted 21.9 % excess, he backed them by stating that 5 % excess is eligible and the remaining 16.9 % is a bonus.
"The bonus is a bogus propaganda. The terms of the tender itself is for one year and how can the Chief Minister state that bonus is being given to the contractors for completing the project in one year unless he has received kickbacks to a tune of Rs 300 crore," he said.
He deplored that the Chief Minister is bringing up the Pattiseema project at the cost of farmers and it is a total sell out. His concern is only to benefit the contractors and not the farmers. The State has been fooling people with the project by fudging figures and estimates.
"When we asked the engineers the capacity of Prakasam barrage, we were told it was 3 TMC which means there is storage facility for the flood waters of Godavari en route anywhere. The floods to Krishna River will occur mostly during the three months of August, September and October. Godavari too will be in spate more or less during the same time and the waters will flow into the sea", he added.
Storing this flood water during floods and shifting it later down up to Rayalaseema is the aim of Polavaram. The project has a storage capacity of 194 TMC of water and will divert 80 TMC water from right bank to south and 24 TMC to Visakhapatnam from left canal.
He expressed concern that it is obvious from the State Government policies that it intends to put such a useful project in cold storage. The works on Polavaram are not progressing. Once Pattiseema project is started, as per the Godavari River Water Disputes Tribunal, we have to forego 35 TMC of water to Maharashtra and Karnataka. Still the State is going ahead with Pattiseema only to benefit the contractors and for the kickbacks," he said.
He recalled that the nearby Pulichintala project has received patronage from YSR. While Chandrababu Naidu during his nine-year term has allocated a meager Rs 24 crore, YSR has completed 90 % of the work on the project. It now needs Rs 290 crore for completion and would be able to store 40 TMC of water. The Chief Minister has allocated a meager Rs 20 crore for it which speaks of his lack of interest in completing the project.
Stating that Chandrababu Naidu has been singing the tune of water to Rayalaseema, he alleged that facts and figures show that he has always neglected the arid area. It was YSR who has given a lion's share to irrigation sector and Rayalaseema. From Prakasam barrage we will be going to Velugonda and elicit public opinion on the issue, he said.