A devastating blow was dealt by the Central Government to the AP CM YS Jagan’s regime in Polavaram. It explained that it would not bear the cost of purchasing land and resettling it. In response to a question under the Right to Information Act (RTI), the Central Government gave a response. The Centre has confirmed that it would only have funding for the physical work at the dam. The cost of these works was around Rs 20,000 Cr, and a large portion of these funds have already been given. The Union Government informed the RTI applicants that a memo was released in 2016 by the Union Finance Ministry stating that central funding will be provided only for dam construction works. Even now, this memo might hold.
No central support for the purchase and relocation of land that was a major component of the project will be available. While the building of the dam would require about Rs. 20,000 Cr, it would cost more than Rs 30,000 Cr for the resettlement works. In the TDP regime, up to 71 percent of dam works have been completed and another 2 percent in the YCP law so far. In comparison, only 20% of the work on the land acquisition and relocation section was completed. Just Rs. 2,200 Cr funds were pending with the Centre, as stated. It will be a very, very difficult task for AP to step forward even an inch on the project in view of the latest development.