Andhra govt to call for fresh tenders for Polavaram project on Saturday
The Andhra Pradesh government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy will call for fresh tenders to complete the work of the Polavaram irrigation project being constructed on Godavari river.
An official of the state irrigation department familiar with the development said a tender notification would be issued on Saturday for taking up the balance of project work which had come to a halt earlier this month, following the termination of the contract given to the Navayuga Engineering Company Limited (NECL) by the previous Telugu Desam government.
Besides, the government will also call for tenders for the construction of 960 MW Polavaram hydel power project as part of the main dam. The total cost of the tenders is estimated to be ₹5,070 crore.
“The government is going in for reverse tendering process, in which the bids are thrown open for the contractors. Whoever quotes the lesser rate would be given the contract. The entire exercise will be totally transparent,” the official said.
The YSRC government had earlier terminated the contract given to Navayuga, following a recommendation made by an eight-member expert committee constituted on June 14, to examine the processes followed by the previous TDP government in tendering, launching and executing engineering works for the Polavaram project.
The committee, which submitted a 43-page report to the government on July 23, pointed out gross violation of tender norms under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts in Polavaram and that the TDP government had paid ₹3,128 crore to Navayuga in violation of the norms.
However, the government’s decision drew flak from the Centre, which described it as unfortunate. Union Jal Sakthi Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat made a statement in Parliament stating that the decision of the Jagan government to scrap the Polavaram contract would delay the project further.
On August 13, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) of the Union water resources ministry which oversees the progress of the project held an emergency meeting in Hyderabad to review the pre-closure of the project tenders.
The meeting observed that the decision to call for fresh tenders would result in delay of the project and with increase in timeline, there is a likelihood of increase in the project cost as well and also loss due to delayed benefits of the project. “The state government officials have been advised to look into the matter before taking a final decision,” the PPA authorities said.