The Centre today released Rs 1,982 crore for the multipurpose Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which sanctioned the long term irrigation fund under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley handed over the check to Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu at a function in New Delhi today. Mr Jaitley also handed over checks for Rs 463 crore rupees to Gujarat and Rs 756 crore rupees to Maharashtra for state projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jaitley said, the Government is giving top priority to irrigation projects. He said, if anyone invests in manufacturing and other sectors, the returns are visible after long period. He said, but in the case of irrigation, the results start showing in the next season.
The Finance Minister said, after the bifurcation, doubts were expressed by the people of the newly created Andhra Pradesh that the state is being discriminated due to economic disadvantage. He said, the Centre has fulfilled its commitment made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act of 2014. He hoped that people of the state will have a sense of trust. Mr Jaitley said, it is an historic opportunity because NABARD is extending financial support to such multipurpose irrigation projects. Water Resources Minister Ms Uma Bharti described it as a revolutionary step in the country’s history.
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu recalled the foundation stone for the Polavaram project in 1982. He said, NDA Government declared it as a national project. Mr Naidu said, agriculture and industry are like two eyes of the nation.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said, Polavaram project will provide irrigation facilities for over 7.20 lakh acres. He said, it also provides for 80 TMC of Godavari water to Krishna river and 23.44 TMC of Godavari water for the industries in and around Vishakhapatnam. He added that the project is likely to be completed by 2018.