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The consequences of Chandrababu’s corruption are already upon us

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The consequences of Chandrababu Naidu’s corruption in the engineering and construction sector are already upon the state of Andhra Pradesh, it seems. The Minister for Irrigation P Anil Kumar Yadav in a statement on March 10 said that the Polavaram Dam “diaphragm
wall” that protects the very foundation of the Earth-cum-Rock-Filled Dam that impounds the water in Godavari River was damaged because of the “poor planning” of the erstwhile Chandrababu Naidu Government.
The 1.4 kilometre-long diaphragm wall which is five metres thick and goes 307 feet deep into the river-bed at some points was damaged to an extent of 1.8 metres due to the floods, according to the Minister.
The diaphragm wall was constructed over 14 months spending Rs 423 crore reportedly with latest German Technology. But apparently there was a flaw in the wall which was exposed by the floods in the river, a technical head working at the Polavaram Dam site explained. There have always been allegations that the Telugu Desam Government has violated all guiding principals to make additional payments to the contractors. The existing system of awarding contracts after calling for competitive bids was set aside to award works to
contractors who were “close” to them through “nomination”.
“It is the diaphragm wall which prevents the seeping of water and ultimately scouring of earth from under the Earth-cum-Rock-Filled dam.It is most unfortunate that there was corruption even in the building of a structure of such paramount importance.A damage even in a small
part of the wall would compromise the entire structure,” the expert explained. The YSR Congress Party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has been saying from the beginning that TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu requested the then electoral ally the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was ruling at the centre, that the AP government be permitted to build the National Project only to make money and not for the benefit of the people, a political pundit said. One of the first steps the YSRCP took, on being elected to power, was to appoint an expert committee to probe corruption in the building of the Polavaram project. The Jagan Mohan
Reddy government also announced the “reverse tendering” system to make sure that there was no corruption in the tenders, he recalled.

Five per cent of the world economy

According to an estimated by a World Bank institute in 2004 the cost of corruption was 5 percent of the world economy which was about 1.5 trillion dollars at that time, he said. The Experts Committee constituted to probe corruption in Polavaram Project in its report to
the government said that additional payments to the tune off Rs 2,343 crore were paid to the contractors, he pointed out.
“Why would contractors be paid extra amounts? There is no doubt that people in high places received kickbacks, he said.

Expert committee report

Transstroy, the original contractor of Polavaram Project, was paid additional amounts to the tune of Rs 1,331 crore according to the Expert Committee. But with the reverse tendering system it turned out that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was able to save Rs 820
crore just in the construction of head works of the Polavaram Project showing the extent of corruption, he said
Mr Naidu and the cronies that benefited from the excess payments tried hard to convince people that reverse tendering would only lead to delays in the execution of work and cost escalation, but that has turned out to be totally false. he added.

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