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Polavaram oustees not happy with Narendra Modi, says Jagan Mohan Reddy

AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday said the families displaced by the Polavaram multi-purpose project were not happy with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Centre was not releasing funds for their rehabilitation and resettlement.

At the same time, the Chief Minister promised to complete the resettlement of the affected families (up to 41.15 metre contour level) by September and “spending the state government’s money if required .

He assured them that they would be moved into new colonies after paying monetary compensation as well.

Water would be impounded in Polavaram up to 41.15 metres only after the resettlement of the families was completed, Reddy asserted.

On the second-day of his tour to the flood-affected habitations in Alluri Sitarama Raju and Eluru districts, the Chief Minister addressed the victims at Chintoor, Velerupadu and other places on Wednesday.

Reddy pleaded helplessness in completing the rehabilitation and resettlement works.

“I have sought an appointment with the Prime Minister. I will raise this issue when I meet him… I met the Prime Minister three times so far but there has been no movement at the Centre at the desired speed,” the Chief Minister said, pushing the blame onto the Government of India for the travails of the flood-hit people.

He pleaded helplessness in taking up rehabilitation and resettlement works for the affected families.

We have been wrestling daily with the Centre. We are constantly fighting the battles with them. We have been writing letters, requesting and pleading with them to release the Rs 20,000 crore required for rehabilitation and resettlement of Polavaram project displaced families,” the Chief Minister claimed.

He said so far the state government has spent Rs 2,900 crore of its own money on the project, which the Centre needed to reimburse.

Reddy also remarked that everything was in the Centre’s hands only.

“It is the Centre that prints the money. If it doesn’t have money, who will have? If it issues the notification, it will give the money,” he added.

“There is nothing in my hands. Jagan is not sufficient as the amount involved is Rs 20,000 crore. Had it been Rs 500 crore or Rs 1,000 crore or Rs 2,000 crore, we wouldn’t have asked them. I would have done it on my own. Since it involves Rs 20,000 crore, we have to take them (Centre) into line,” the Chief Minister said.

Reminding the people that Polavaram was a national project, he said there was no way it could be stopped as the Centre has to pay for it if not today, tomorrow .

“If you give (Rs 20,000 crore) today, people will be happy. If you delay it, it will be a loss only to the Centre as the costs will increase. As per the 2013 Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, the (land acquisition) notification is only for a period of three years. So, the cost will go up, he pointed out.

The Chief Minister said the state was exerting pressure on the Centre to expedite release of Rs 20,000 crore towards Polavaram project.

He asked the Prime Minister to press the DBT button and “people will remember you”.

Source: Press Trust of India

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