Himachal Pradesh Government has offered all assistance to National Capital to meet the growing demand of drinking water in Delhi.
While speaking in the meeting of Irrigation and Water Resources Ministers of Upper Yamuna Basin States at New Delhi today, Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Kaul Singh Thakur said that the State was willing to help Delhi Government to meet the significant demand of drinking water due to forthcoming Common Wealth Games being held in 2010. He also suggested for setting up of three water storage projects namely Lakhwar-Vyasi, Kishau and Renukaji to improve the availability of water in Yamuna river during lean season.
Thakur said that Government Delhi has accorded the highest priority for the construction of Renuka Ji Dam project in Sirmaur district of the State for permanent solution of drinking water problem of National Capital, Delhi. He said that tentative revised cost of Renukaji Dam at December, 2006, price level was estimated at Rs. 2911.70 crore in comparison to Rs. 1224.64 crore estimated at May 1997 price-level. He said that NCT Delhi has agreed to meet the revised cost which will be finally approved CWC. He said that Delhi Govt. has also agreed to meet the revised cost of environment and forest clearance besides relief and rehabilitation plan costs in the project.
Thakur Kaul Singh said that detailed project report of the project would be submitted by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board as per agreement reached between States of H.P. and Delhi on 8th December, 2006 and added that the construction work of the project would be completed within 6 years starting from the year of investment and forest and environmental clearance is accorded by Central Agencies. He said that a bilateral agreement would be signed between both Governments for implementation of the project outlining the revised cost of completion, cost sharing, funding arrangement and mechanism, construction scheduled and joining monitoring mechanism as also their respective responsibilities. He said that Himachal Pradesh Government would set up project implementation unit and maintain separate accounts for the project.
Thakur Kaul Singh said that Himachal Pradesh Govt. will not share the 87.89 crore cost of irrigation components of the project and added that State shall have the right to meet the non-consumptive needs of drinking water supply/irrigation schemes in Yamuna basin areas as the State would not levy any tax or rental on the use of strategic location of the project site falling within the territory of the Himachal Pradesh.
Thakur Kaul Singh told that Himachal Pradesh is drawing 0.2427 bcm water against its allocation of 0.378 bcm water and requested the enhancement of its share keeping in view the growing demand of drinking water in the State. He said that State Government had taken several measures to improve the forest cover in Yamuna basin area to improve the quality of flow of water in Yamuna and its tributaries within Himachal Pradesh and pleaded for central assistance for construction of sewerage treatment plants in Yamuna basin areas of the State.