Andhra Pradesh

CM to pursue AP issues with Shah today

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Thursday. He is likely to take up pending issues pertaining to the release of funds for Polavaram project with the Centre, besides urging it to extend all possible help to the State to vaccinate all eligible beneficiaries at the earliest.Jagan will leave for Delhi on Thursday afternoon and is likely to meet Amit Shah in the evening. He will return on Friday afternoon. He is likely to meet Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and other ministers during his visit to Delhi.

During his meeting with Amit Shah, Jagan is likely to urge him to prevail upon the Ministry of Jal Shakti to approve the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of Polavaram project and release funds due to the State from the Centre for its speedy execution. Apart from funds for Polavaram project, he is likely to urge the Centre to fulfil all the assurances made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The issue of according Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh for its overall development is likely to be raised. He is likely to seek release of funds due from the Centre as the State government is under financial stress in view of Covid-19. Jagan is likely to explain the various initiatives taken by his government to contain the spread of Covid and also its plans to combat possible third wave in the coming months. In the wake of government’s decision to vaccinate mothers of children below five years of age as part of the strategy to fight possible third wave, he may seek allocation of more vaccine doses to the State.

According to an estimate, 15-18 lakh women with children below 5 years of age need to be vaccinated before the possible outbreak of third wave. He is likely to urge the Home Minister to prevail upon the ministries concerned to fund the development of basic infrastructure in greenfield colonies being constructed in the State under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Jagan’s visit to Delhi comes in the wake of recent developments related to arrest of rebel YSRC MP K Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju and his complaint to Delhi police over the high-handed behaviour of AP police during his arrest.

Even as the Chief Minister will be meeting Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Ministry Secretary Pankaj Kumar is scheduled to hold a review meeting on Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP) on Thursday to take stock of the progress and pending issues related to the national project. The State officials will participate in the meeting scheduled at 3.30 pm via virtual link. While the Union Secretary is expected to review the works component-wise ahead of the flooding season, the State officials are likely to seek immediate resolution of long-pending issues such as approval of the RCE of the PIP at 2017-18 price level, release of funds and others.

It is learnt that the officials are likely to explain how the long-drawn process of reimbursement of funds spent by the State government is hampering bill clearance. The officials will cite the example of the latest tranche of Rs 333 crore, which took over three months for the bill to be cleared and reimbursed. The officials are also likely to explain how land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LARR) works are getting delayed because of the pending RCE approval. Along with Water Resources Secretary J Syamala Rao, officials from Polavaram Project Authority, Polavaram Chief Engineer B Sudhakar Babu, and others are expected to attend the meeting.