The Centre has asked the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) for a detailed report on the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to preclose tenders worth more than ₹3,000 crore given to Navayuga Engineering Company for the Polavaram project.
On 29 July, the state government issued the preclosure termination notice to Navayuga, which was to complete part of the Polavaram irrigation project in the Andhra Pradesh. The construction giant was asked by the Andhra Pradesh Water Resources Department (APWRD) to consent to the termination or exit the project and settle accounts in 15 days.
The state government had then said that it would opt for re-tendering of the remaining work.
However, PPA took note of the development and convened an emergency meeting on 13 August on this. “It transpired during the meeting that there is neither enough ground nor any necessity for preclosure of present tenders and retendering the works. Such a step will result in unforeseen consequences and will plunge the project into uncertainty," said a 16 August letter from R.K. Jain, chief executive officer of PPA, to Aditya Nath Das, special chief secretary, APWRD, and officials of the Centre.
Not only will the project be delayed, but it will also “have adverse socioeconomic impacts due to delay in realization of benefits from the project apart from likely increase in the cost of the project," said the letter.
The report is likely to be ready by the end of this week, Jain said, but refused to comment further on the issue.
The APWRD’s decision to preclose the tenders is in tune with chief minister and YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s statements before the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections that he would probe alleged irregularities in the Polavaram project, with regard to contracts given to companies by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, led by former chief minister N. Chandrababu.