In a double whammy to Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, lending agencies, World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have told the state government that the Rs 15,000 crore loan that is being sought by it for the capital construction in Amaravati can be released only after necessary environment clearances are secured from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Earlier in the day, the Hyderabad high court had stayed the Swiss Challenge method of awarding contracts to Singapore firms for construction of the new capital.
With meagre support from the Union government for the construction of Amaravati, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) has sought the support from various external agencies including World Bank and Asian Development Bank along with domestic organisations like Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
The CRDA has been holding discussions with World Bank and ADB for the past few months and has sought a loan of Rs 7,500 crore from each of the agency . The WB team had recently visited the state and held discussions with CRDA officials.According to sources, WB had in principle agreed to provide the loan. However, later, the WB team informed the CRDA that the final nod for the loan would be given only after the case pending in the NGT on the capital is disposed of.“They clearly raised some concerns over the NGT case and in a way linked the sanction of loan to it,“ a highlyplaced official told TOI.
The CRDA officials convinced the WB officials that social impact assessment (SIA) report would not be required to be produced for the sanction of the loan as the land was secured under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS). However, the WB officials appear to have stood their ground. Similarly , Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed similar concerns like WB in releasing the loan for Amaravati. “As we are hugely depending on the external aid, the NGT case becomes crucial for us. But we hope to secure the verdict in the tribunal in our favour,“ said an official.