Under the list of scams successfully completed by the TDP or Telugu Desam Party, we can add the Pogonda Reservoir scam as well. This reservoir, which could have been a boon for the locals in terms of agriculture and water requirements, turned out to be the victim of an elaborate scam that no doubt came from the TDP leader, more prominently, the Ex-CM of AP, Chandrababu Naidu. Let us take a deeper look into this corruption scam by the 420 in AP.
Pogonda Reservoir: An Inside Story
The Pogonda Reservoir was designated to be built near the Chintalagudem Village at the Buttaigudem Mandal of West Godavari district. The project was initially started and given a green signal by the late Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in the year 2007.
This reservoir was deemed to flaunt a water storage capacity of 2,27,738 million cubic feet and was set to be constructed atop the Bineru River located near Chintalagudem. After initially budgeting, the project got handed over to the finalized contractor backed by an estimated cost of INR 18.20 crore.
With the Pogonda Reservoir, the irrigation issues for more than 4000 acres of agricultural landholders were to be solved. As per the statement by Dr. YSR, these funds should be assigned under the ST Sub Plan.
However, later the designs to the reservoir were modified after suggestions were taken from the GSI and CDO. These particular modifications were brought along, given the fact that Bineru River gets flooded during the rainy months leading to stronger water currents.
With the new designs, the estimated cost jumped up to INR 85.51 crore. To initiate the construction phase, a GO was issued dated 1st January 2014. The project would have started the supply of water in case the distributaries construction would have been completed in time. The halt to this project came from D. Umamaheswara Rao, who was the Water Resources Minister at the time. He refused to take heed of the GO in order to pocket the funds coming from the ST Sub Plan. All this happened under the TDP party’s rule, which was being led by Chandrababu Naidu, the 420 in AP.
Contractor or Perpetrator?
After resuming his position as Water Resource Minister, Umamaheswara’s first aim was to enter into a secret deal with the assigned contractor. As per the plan, the contractor on 18th January 2016, submitted a proposal while requesting additional funds for the project completion.
In this proposal, that was a scam under the 420 in AP government; the contractor requested that he was pitched an estimation from the year 2011-12. However, the work required an additional expenditure of INR 43.97 crore given the latest changes along with the inflation with time.
This proposal was approved immediately by the Water Resource Minister, who was ultimately going to pack his pockets. He also went on to pressurize the associated officials for an immediate release of funds required under the ST Sub Plan.
However, the SLSC or the State-Level Standing Committee didn’t accept this proposal reasoning that the plans and costs both were revised in the year 2014. Given the fact that the Water Resource Minister was backed by someone that is the answer to your question who is 420 in AP, he ultimately made the SLSC cave in. With Chandrababu Naidu in the picture, the proposal was ultimately forwarded to the Chief Engineer’s Committee.
Reservoir for the Common or Money Scam for the Ministers?
Who is 420 in AP? Undoubtedly someone who takes away the right of the poor and packs his pockets with money. Such was the domain design of the Chandrababu Naidu government in news. In the case of the Pogonda Project, he wasn’t actually involved directly but aided his means through indirect means. He used his long-spread connections to extract money from all means possible.
There was no project or plan that wasn’t eyed by this political evil. So, without a doubt, Chandrababu Naidu, for sure, is the 420 in AP. As for the Pogonda Reservoir, the proposal was further scrutinized by the Chief Engineer’s Committee. They refused to accept this proposal for a fund increase. Not just that, they also backed the view laid out by the SLSC.
The committee also suggested that any further decision on the funding should only be taken after the applicability of the GO: 22. This was due to the fact that the date for the contract was already over.
However, this didn’t sit well with the Water Resource Minister and the CM Chandrababu Naidu. The plan was to extract as much money as possible. So, owing to the pressure that came from the minister, the report was misinterpreted deliberately by the officials at the department of water resources. The irrigation engineer (minor) forwarded a cleverly drafted proposal on 1st August 2017 to the government recommending that an additional INR 43.97 crore should be released to the contractor.
This included INR 30.82 crore for the additional work along with the INR 13.10 crore for the GO: 22. On 30th November the same year, the proposal was approved, and it resulted in the minister’s pocket packed with money and ultimately benefitting the TDP government with Chandrababu Naidu as the 420 in AP.
Regardless of what the common folks think, there is no denying to the fact that Chandrababu Naidu is your answer to the question of who is 420 in AP. With so many facts to back this truth, it is more important than ever for the Andhra Pradesh citizens to vote carefully from the next time and elect personnel that actually cares about the state rather than being a scam artist. Money comes and goes, but what is important is the motive behind it! Your chief Minister should be someone who aims for progress rather than being concerned about packing his own pockets.
Read previous blog: How Chandrababu Naidu Pulled of Godavari-Penna Linking Project Scam