VIJAYAWADA: The proposal of the State government seeking interim release of funds for Polavaram project is yet to get a nod from the Union Ministry of Finance, even as the State is planning to launch the works in a month. Rejecting reports that the Centre dropped the proposal, the State Water Resources officials maintained that it was just a delay, not rejection.
With the delay in the approval of the revised DPR, the State government, which is spending money for the execution of the project and later getting the expenditure reimbursed, has been requesting release of an interim fund.
Even though the revised detailed project report (DPR) had received Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) nod in February, it still has to get financial concurrence.
In this context, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry recommended the release of Rs 3,000 crore about five months ago and sent the file to the Union Ministry of Finance. The file is stuck there since then.
“Our proposal seeking Rs 3,000 crore interim fund has not been rejected. The Centre asked us a report on the work done prior to 2014 and we recently submitted it.
That is the reason there is a delay in its approval. We are pursuing the matter and expecting a positive outcome soon,” a top-ranking official explained.
The State is yet to get a reimbursement of Rs 5,100 crore, for the money spent on the project execution in the last term, from the Centre as the expenditure was made over and above the costs approved in the old DPR.
So, the State government has sought interim funding as the dues could be cleared only after the revised DPR gets clearance.
Another official said the ministry had sought a revised proposal from the State a few months ago. “After the first proposal, another one was sought. It is under the perusal of the Ministry of Finance. We can’t rule out the possibility of the ministry dropping it because the State went for reverse tendering and the matter pertaining to the hydel power plant is in the High Court. Once there is a clarity on it, the ministry may take a decision,” he observed.
The official said if the revised DPR gets clearance from the Ministry of Finance, there would not be any issue with release of funds.
“The approval of revised DPR reached the final stage. A meeting is expected to be convened by the Revised Cost Estimates committee of the Central Water Commission soon. We are pursuing the matter so that a favourable outcome would be there by the time works are resumed,” he added.