Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday demanded that the State Government direct the Navayuga Engineering Company to stick to the original design of Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) as proposed by the irrigation department.
Speaking in the Round-Table conference on PRLIS organised by Congress MLA D.K. Aruna here, the TPCC chief alleged that under PRLIS, Navayuga Engineering Co Ltd was awarded the contract work of construction of stage-1 pumping-station near engineering reservoir.
Instead of adhering to and constructing according to the design made by the irrigation department, the contractor altered the design by shifting the pumping station. “The unilateral decision of the contractor to change the location and the design is likely to cause damage to the pump-house of Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Scheme in future due to likely blasting in tunnel construction,” he said.
As per the original design, with regard to the Anjanagiri/ Narlapur Reservoir, the Open Cut Pumping Station is supposed to be constructed 1.250 kilometers away to the eastern side of KLIS pumping station. According to the presentation made in the Assembly by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the design was finalised after thorough research and evaluation and the same design has been incorporated in the contract agreement.
However, the Nayayuga Engineering Company has invented that there is an obstruction of 149 acres of reserve forest and requested for shifting the pumping station to 300 meters away from west of existing KLIS pumping station, i.e., under the limits of Yeluru Grampanchayat that too altering the design from an open-cut pumping station to underground pumping station.
“We fail to understand the rationality of the contractor that the reserve forest that was not seen as a hindrance by the Chief Minister and the Irrigation Department is being perceived as an obstacle that too after the agreement was done.
If the reserve forest is a real constraint, we wonder how the irrigation department has finalized the location for pumping station near Narlapur. This confusion justifies the argument of the Congress Party that the whole PRLIS is conceived in a most unscientific, hurried and confused manner leading to various design related defects,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy contended that the reserve forest land was not at all an issue as an alternate piece of land in the vicinity of Amrabad Mandals was being handed over to the forest department.
The TPCC Chief said that the a joint report from Advisor, Lift irrigation Scheme, Chief Engineer (CDO), Chief Engineer, PRLIS, and OSD, PRLIS has opined that the original design of the pumping station was the best in terms of technical and financial viability.
They also further observed that the cost of the project might escalate by 25% to 30% amounting to around Rs 1,000 crores. The report also contains various other key observations and objections on the alternative design proposed by the contractor, he said.
In view of this, Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the contractor be refrained from making any alterations. “If any such deviations are taken up by the contractor without the official consent from the irrigation department, it should be treated as a gross violation of terms and conditions of the tender and the government should withdraw the contract assigned,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress Party has always cautioned the Government of Telangana to be careful with regard to the new irrigation projects and also redesign of irrigation projects. However, he said that the TRS Government has adopted most undemocratic, irrational and unscientific methods while taking up the redesigning of irrigation Projects.
He said that the contractors, in general, are allowed to make designs and alter them, as required, only under EPC system that too after the approvals from the appropriate authorities.
“Though the Government of Telangana claimed to have abandoned the EPC System, but, in reality, the State Government seems to have given an undue free hand to Contractors of package no.1 to unlawfully deviate and alter the original designs based on which the tenders were granted,” he said.
“It appears that in Telangana, the contractors are dictating terms violating basic tender agreement norms, while irrigation and CAD department is acting like a mere spectator,” he said. (INN)