Fate of Amaravati projects hangs in balance

VIJAYAWADA: With the new State government halting all engineering work contracts awarded before April 1, which were completed only to an extent of 25 per cent, fate of many projects in Amaravati hangs in the balance.

Major projects facing uncertainty include Iconic Bridge, Vykuntapuram Barrage and most of the infrastructure projects whose foundations were laid by the previous government just before the elections.
Though tender for the 3.2-km-long six-lane Iconic Bridge worth Rs 1,387 crore, proposed to be built across River Krishna to connect Vijayawada with Amaravati, was awarded in June last year, work was formally launched by former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in January this year. “The work is still in foundation stage and is less than the 25 per cent cut-off mark. So, it falls in the list of work to be stopped as per the latest memo issued,” a top official told TNIE.

Several of the 30 infrastructure and amusement projects — worth over Rs 8,000 crore —awarded tenders by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) and Amaravati Development Corporation Ltd (ADCL) in February this year are also likely to be put on hold. While some of these projects have crossed the quarter-way progress mark, others have not.

Another project that is likely to be put on hold is the Vykuntapuram Barrage, which is being built to meet the drinking water needs of the new capital. Foundation for the Rs 2,200 crore-worth 10 tmc reservoir, executed by the water resources department, was laid in February. “The Rs 900 crore-worth check dam proposed at Chodavaram in the downstream of Prakasam Barrage may also be in the list,” an official said.
A few other amusement projects, which were proposed as part of the Amaravati Central Park but not awarded tenders, are likely to be put on hold till the new government announces its policy on the development of Amaravati.

Officials said some projects did not see much progress due to the elections.“We will explain at the review meeting scheduled on June 6 about the necessity of projects such as the Iconic Bridge, which will provide the only direct connectivity between Vijayawada and Amaravati. An action plan will be made after government’s orders,” an official said.

However, as per the order by the State government, not all projects with less than 25 per cent progress will be stopped. “No payment will be made in this regard before obtaining orders afresh from appropriate authorities,” the memo read. Sources said the government will grant a fresh administrative sanction to projects that it considers as crucial.