March 24, 2018: The Andhra Pradesh media reported scathing headlines about the corruption of the contractors in the Polavaram project. A sum of Rs. 150.93 crore was at stake, and the work done by the project rounded to zero. After a series of revelations and extensive work on the case, the Chandrababu government came into limelight, exposing the Chandrababu Naidu as who is 420 in AP.
To add on top of it, the Pay and Accounts (PAO) Department was forced to release a sum of Rs. 112.47 Crore was claimed by the mere reproduction of fake records of the soil works that had not been done.
However, despite the revelation of the facts, the then Chief Minister – Chandrababu Naidu, forced the Pay and Accounts Department to release sums to the contractors. This was a clear indication to the whole state that the government was in hand in glove with the contractors and was amassing illicit wealth through illegal methods.
After the continuous pressure, the government asked the PAO board to recover a small fraction of Rs.10.57 Crore. The rest of the capital was not allowed to be recovered. However, gauging the seriousness of the matter. Eluru K. Somaiah stated in a communication to the EE of Project Head Works (Reservoir) about the matter and why the bills in the equation could not be settled.
The soil work related to Polavaram spillway included spill channel, approach channel, pilot channel, and foundation digging was expected to be completed within Rs. 10.49 crore. After the project was awarded, the work was passed on to sub-contractors. In this scenario, the soil excavation work was entrusted to the Triveni Earth Movers, a reputed contractor in the region.
The Triveni Earth Movers made estimations about the project and quoted Rs. 92.60 as per the 2015-2016 rates. In the case of rocky soil and additional payment was promised to settle by the government.
The then Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, occasionally visited to mark the progress of the project. In his 20th visit on October 03, 2017, the minster was made aware that a total of 7.59 cubic meters has been excavated. On the other hand, another 2.96 crore public meters were left. The following facts and figures were stated on public records.
However, reality differed from the stated facts. Only 5.96 crore cubic meters of soil work was completed. To add on top of it, even though 1.63 crore cubic meters of soil work had not been done, due to the Chief Minister’s pressure, it was shown to have been completed. This highlights the crony face of the Chandrababu Government, the real who is 420 in AP.
An additional amount of Rs. 150.93 crore was additionally paid to the contractors, which eventually found its way to the Chief Minister’s Office in news.
The Discovery of the Scam
After the media highlighted the scam and the reports surfaced in the social media channels, a strict notice was sent to all the essential departments regarding the case. As per the official report, a total sum of Rs. 112, 47 crores were swindled by the state government, and hence the sum was to be recovered by the government. On the other hand, strict actions were suggested for the government officials involved in the project.
However, despite the recommendation, no strict action was taken against any individual.
Rs. 61.66 Crore Loot Prevented
In the ongoing scam, the government decided to add another layer to get additional benefits. The government adder another 66.59 lakh cubic meter of work in the Polavaram region. The act was needless and was an effort from the Chandrababu Government to gain an additional Rs. 61.66 crore. However, the report from the PPA and Auditor – General revealed the complete plan and brought a full stop to the entire plan.
This is not the first time that the Chandrababu Government has shown its real side. The who is 420 in the AP series highlights several scams of the individual and how the Chandrababu Government has been robbing the poor by brutal force in Andhra Pradesh.
Disrespect to the Center
In another Polavaram project, the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) penned a scathing report criticizing the Chandrababu’s arbitrary style of functioning and the massive corruption in the following project. The PPA submitted the report to the Nitin Gadkari, the then Union Minister for Water Resources. However, despite the several attempts, there was no response or legal action taken by the government. This highlights the grave insult and respect hold by the party and its members for the central government.