Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday and discussed several matters related to the State development. The meeting lasted for more than one hour where YS Jagan Mohan Reddy sought approval for the Second Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of Polavaram Project, decentralization of capital, setting up of the State High Court in Kurnool , Special Category Status for AP, COVID-19 vaccination exercise and various other issues.
Polavaram Project Revised Cost of Estimates
As per the recommendation of the Polavaram Project Revised Cost Committee (RCC) taking into account the 2017-18 price index, the project cost was at Rs. 55,656.87 Crore. CM YS Jagan sought the approval for the Second Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) to this effect. He also explained the extent of land acquired after a field survey under the 2013 Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act was increased. He also told Amit Shah that the number of families to be evacuated from flood prone areas had increased from 44,574 to 1,06,006 and there was a pending amount of Rs. 1,644.23 Crore as arrears due from the centre for which he sought immediate payment.
Re- Notification to establish High Court in Kurnool
The AP government is committed to decentralization as part of achieving a balance in region-wise development. As part of this, the State Government plans to establish an executive capital in Visakhapatnam, a legislative capital in Amravati and a legal capital in Kurnool.
In August, the AP enacted the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020 . YS Jagan requested that a re-notification be issued for the establishment of a High Court in Kurnool. He also reminded that the BJP had mentioned the setting up of a high court in Kurnool in its manifesto during the 2019 elections.
Tribal University in Vizianagaram
The AP government has identified 250 acres for setting up of a Tribal University in Salur, Vizianagaram district that is in the sub plan area. YS Jagan sought the relevant department to take appropriate steps for the establishment of this Tribal University.
Special Category Status for AP
The Chief Minister once again reiterated his request to the Centre to accord Special Category Status (SCS) in accordance with the promise made in Parliament. He brought to fore that it was necessary as the State was facing many challenges financially. The special grants received from the Centre due to the special status would help ease the financial burden of the State gradually paving the way for industrial development and employment.
The Revenue Deficit for 2014-15 was at Rs. 22, 948.76 Crore as reported by the State Government. However, the Centre has earmarked Rs 4,117.89 Crore out of which only Rs 3,979.5 Crore was released. The Chief Minister requested that in addition to this, and along with remaining arrears, an amount of Rs. 18,830.87 Crore had to be released by the Central Government.
COVID Vaccination Process, New Medical Colleges
The Chief Minister explained that the COVID vaccination procedure in the state had commenced in 332 centres from January 16. The State was taking steps to complete vaccination of all health personnel in the next 10 days
We are taking steps to strengthen the health sector in the state and for this, the number of doctors and nurses needs to be increased for quality medical services, he said. For this, the State has proposed to set up 13 new medical colleges. The Central Government has already sanctioned three colleges and the State requests the Central Government to sanction permission for the remaining 13 colleges and their affiliated nursing colleges, he mentioned.
In addition to this, the State is also improving the infrastructure in the existing medical colleges. The CM requested that the Centre provide adequate financial assistance for the establishment of these new medical colleges.
Arrears To State Civil Supply Corporation
The CM sought the release of Rs.4, 282 Crore arrears due to AP State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited. This will help in contributing to the payment of minimum support prices to farmers and the district co-operatives and women's self-help groups, he said.
Employment Guarantee Scheme, local bodies arrears
As the rural economy needs to be re-strengthened, the existing working days under employment guarantee scheme should be increased from 100 days to 150 days. In addition, the project costs for Anganwadi buildings needs to be increased from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs. The CM sought release of Rs. 3,707.77 Crore pending for employment guarantee schemes
In addition, the arrears of Rs 529.95 crore to local bodies as prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission was to be released.
He also requested the immediate release of Rs. 1,312.5 Crore for the Rural Local Bodies under the second tranche as directed by the 15th Finance Commission. These funds would help in comprehensive implementation of COVID prevention measures in rural areas, he said.
Financial assistance for Nivar Cyclone affected areas
He sought financial assistance for the rehabilitation in the Nivar Cyclone affected areas under the National Disaster Fund. The state government has already requested the Centre to release Rs 2,255.7 crore for input subsidy and temporary rehabilitation works in the affected areas as per NDRF regulations.
Power sector in the State
YS Jagan mentioned that to improve the condition of the discoms the Central Government should provide appropriate assistance.
The discoms have entered into contracts with Kudigi and Valluru thermal power plants till 2040. Compared to other power plants, the rates of these plants are very high and the state was unable to pay such rates.
He wanted the centre to surrender electricity from these two plants which would ease the burden of discoms paying Rs. 325 Crore as fixed charges payments.
Telangana owes Rs 5,541.78 crore to AP GENCO in the form of power purchase. He requested that the payment be made to AP GENCO from the conditional loans given to Telangana discoms as part of the Atma Nirbhar program.
Financial assistance for the 1350 MW reverse pump storage power project in the Upper Sileru,which is estimated to cost about Rs 8,000 crore. He also sought the Forest and Environmental clearances for the project.
Disha Bill: He urged the Centre to take appropriate steps to get the Disha Bill and the setting up of Special Courts Bill under the Disha Act approved by the Centre. He also requested the Centre to take necessary steps to get the AP Land Titling Act approval and sought consent from the President of India.
Sanction for Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme
YS Jagan appealed to the Centre to accord sanction for the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, which would address the drinking water and irrigation concerns of four districts in Rayalaseema which are drought prone. The National Green Tribunal, Chennai has also stated that no environmental clearances are required for the project.