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Andhra to complete Polavaram project in 2018


Hyderabad, March 7 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh aims to complete the prestigious Polavaram irrigation project by March 2018, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan told the state legislature on Saturday.

In his address on the first day of the budget session, he said though allocation of a meager Rs.100 crore for Polavaram in the union budget has put the plans in disarray, the state would make all-out efforts to complete the dream project by March 2018.

The governor said the project would be the life-line of Andhra Pradesh and has been declared by the Centre as a national project.

First conceived in the 1940s, the irrigation project across Godavari river is likely to irrigate over seven lakh acres in Andhra Pradesh and produce 960 megawatt (MW) of hydel energy. The project in 2010-11 was estimated to cost Rs.16,500 crore

Narasimhan said the government had identified six irrigation projects to be completed on priority.

He told the joint session that the state proposed to add a significant quantum of wind and solar energy during 2015-16. Two ultra mega solar parks of 1,000 MW capacity each are being set up by National Thermal Power Corporation Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited in Ananthapuram and Kurnool. The government also proposed to provide 10,000 solar pumpsets to farmers during the current financial year.

Reiterating the plan to make Andhra Pradesh a logistic hub and gateway to South East Asia, the governor said four new ports would be developed during the current year.

The state also plans to develop one green field international airport at Bhogapuram, near Visakhapatnam besides modernisation of three existing airports at Tirupati, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry to international standards, and development of six no frill airports.

Narasimhan said the first phase of the master plan of the new state capital near Vijayawada would be ready by June this year. Stating that the world-class capital city would be a role model for the entire country, he said nearly 33,000 acres of land has been voluntarily provided by farmers.

He said the US has signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Andhra Pradesh for developing a smart city in Visakhapatnam. Under this MoU, the US government will provide funds and technical inputs for feasibility studies, study tours and workshops to materialise the idea into reality.

The governor said the government was actively engaging with the governments and companies of the countries like Japan, Singapore, the US, Australia and others for inviting investments and technology transfer.

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