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Chandrababu Naidu and The Telugu Ganga Scam

It seems that corruption, scams and Chandrababu Naidu go hand in hand. His reign as the CM of divided Andhra Pradesh has been all about corruption. In the name of development, funds were assigned and then the money was used to line the pockets of Naidu, his family, his associates, TDP leaders and any one associated with him. Adding to the list of scams is the Telugu Ganga Projects scam. This will also answer the burning question as to who is 420 in AP.

If you analyze the rule of Chandrababu Naidu in AP from 2014 to 2019, all you will get is a list of scams. This is not something the opposition or the media is cooking up. The CAG Comptroller and Auditor General) termed the state is the most corrupt in the country. In their report, CAG stated how the money were mishandled and crores and crores of rupees disappeared without a trace. Other independent organizations too raised questions on Chandrababu Naidu actions. It is not difficult to answer the question who is 420 in AP, if you know what Chandrababu Naidu did in the name of development.

The Telugu Ganga project is another example of how Naidu misused his power to fill his coffers.

What is Telugu Ganga Project

The Telugu Ganga Project is a joint venture that aims at providing water in the state of Tamil Nadu although the river Krishna is in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the finest examples of inter-state projects helping each other provide drinking water. The water for the project is drawn from the Srisailam reservoir and then the water is diverted towards Chennai through a series of inter-linked canals.

Read: How Chandrababu Naidu Pulled of Godavari-Penna Linking Project Scam

Increase in Estimated Cost when only 5% Work is Left

If you look at the history of Chandrababu Naidu rule in the state, you will find that the TDP govt was hell bent on profiting from many irrigation projects. The Telugu Ganga project was almost done with only 5% work remaining, and that is when Chandrababu Naidu increased the estimated cost of the project from Rs.172.99 crore to Rs. 180.48 crore. Not just that, in the next three months, the estimated cost was further increased

to Rs. 280.27 crore. Do the math and you will find that the TDP government had increased the estimated cost by Rs.99.79 crore in just three months’ time. Because of scams like this, Chandrababu Naidu’s name comes up every time anyone asks who is 420 in AP.

The estimated cost of the Telugu Ganga project was at Rs. 4,460.64 crore on March 20, 2007. In 2018, 95% work was already completed with only 5% work remaining to be done. Why did the Chandrababu Naidu govt suddenly decide to increase the estimated cost to Rs.6,671.62 crore? The answer is simple: the TDP govt wanted to take advantage of the increased price by giving out the money to the contractors who were evidently related to some of his party members.

What the govt did to justify the cost was to take up the lining work of Telugu Ganga main canal up to 18.20 km, incomplete lining work between 18.20 km to 42.566 km and the lining work of link channel between Banacherla Cross Regulator and Velugodu balancing reservoir, until 7.380 km. Even with the increased work, the estimate cost comes to around Rs.172.99 crore as per the estimates of 2007. However, the new estimated was valued at Rs.180.48 crore, which doesn’t not add up logically. Is there a doubt as to who is 420 in AP?

TDP MP CM Ramesh-Owned Firm Got the Telugu Ganga Lining Contract

 It is hardly a surprise to see the increase in the estimated cost of the project when you know who got the contract. Rithwik Projects got the contract for the Telugu Ganga Project. It should be notes that the firm is owned by Chandrababu Naidu’s close associate TDP Rajya Sabha MP, CM Ramesh. It is well-known fact that the firm has largely profited from the TDP government’s largess on various irrigation projects including the Telugu Ganga project. This should easily answer the question – who is 420 in AP.

The govt issued notice in July 2018 modifying the regulations to make sure that the contract was given to CM Ramesh-owned Rithwik projects. It has been known that firm doesn’t have the required experience, yet it was given the contract. To prove that they have the experience, the forged certificate to show that they had the experience. The other bidders complained that the Rithwik Projects had submitted fake eligibility certificates and they did complain about it to the officials. This is enough to know who is 420 in AP.

Rules were Bent to Suit The Needs of the TDP Leaders

The Rithwik Projects bid for L-1 contract at 2.88% excess while the competitor bid for L-2 at 3.61% excess, the HES bid for L-3 at 4.31 excess. It was very evident that the contract was to be given to the CM Ramesh’s firm no matter what. But due to media coverage on the issue, the tender was canceled. Now you know who is 420 in AP.

New tender was issued with revised estimated cost, and once again the rules were bent to give the contract to the CM Ramesh’s firm. Apparently, this is what Chandrababu Naidu has been doing to all of the development projects in state, bending the rules and laws to suit the needs of his cronies. The Telugu Ganga project wasn’t the only one where the rules were changed again and again to ensure that the contract for the project went to the firm of anyone related to the TDP leaders in news.

The Bottomline

The Telugu Ganga Project was a noble one but the corruption by the govt reduced it to another scam by Chandrababu Naidu. It is another classic example of how the TDP govt operated and looted the state that was already suffering.

Read previous blog: Chandrababu Naidu and the Legacy of Land-Grabbing

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