‘Haseen Sapna’ of Sheela Dixit to take Renuka water to Delhi before commonwealth games may not come true

Nahan: During her recent visit to Shimla, Delhi Chief Minister Mrs Sheela Dixit had expressed hope that Delhi would get drinking water of Giri River from Renuka, well before the commencement of Commonwealth Games to be organized in Delhi in 2010. Experts feels that keeping in view the undecided issues between Himachal, Haryana and Rajasthan like their claims on sharing the 40 M.W. electricity to be produced on the Dam site and pending environment clearance of the Dam were the main hurdles in the early commencement of the construction work on dam site.

In fact state government, for the past six months had shown extra ordinary seriousness towards the construction of the Dam. For its speedy execution, Government had placed the project under Pabber Valley Power Corporation Limited with postings of several officers including a Superintendent Engineer at Renuka, recently. Preparatory works on Dam site were going on war footing. Now it had been also principally decided by the government to call open tenders for the commencement of the whole project from the reputed companies.

Experts says that if every thing goes on smoothly and strictly according to time frame of the Detailed Project report, preparatory activities shall take atleast one year and further four to five years were required for the completion of Dam work. ‘So in nut shell it is almost certain that in the year of 2010, players and guests from Common wealth countries would not get the highly valuable cool water of Giri Ganga and will have to drink Yamuna water’, says experts.

In fact the Renuka Dam project is hanging fire for the past 20 years, even after approval of fresh Detailed Project Report [DPR] recently, by the authorities of Delhi government the environment clearance of the project was still pending for which final documents were being prepared. The Renuka dam issue had been main election plank in the Renuka Assembly constituency for the past twenty years. Local residents see this project as big booster for business and employment in this backward and hard area of Himachal Pradesh.

As per the DPR prepared for the construction of ‘Renuka Dam’, a reservoir is to be constructed on Giri River at Renuka Ji [Dadahu] in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh. Delhi will get 23 thousand litre of drinking water every second from this scheme through gravity pipe line that would cross through Haryana. Experts estimates that in a 24 hours time Indian capital would get nearly 20 crores litre of additional drinking water as day – night undisrupted water supply from this scheme. Project designers feels that after the completion of this project the drinking water problem of India capital would be solved permanently.

In the wake of strong demand raised by the ‘Renuka Dam Visthapit Sangharsh Samiti’, for conducting of fresh survey of families to be displaced and fresh counting of trees and assessments of their properties to be submerged under the Dam water, the dam authorities had ordered a fresh survey of these families, recently. A team of officers was going village to village now a days and recording claimants as per Panchyat and revenue record. This exercise will take some longer time as fresh counting, recording and assessment in far flung 17 affected villages was not an easy job in an area where the whole land property was undivided in the revenue records.

Sources says that after completion of this survey a detail report would be prepared for the environment clearance mentioning total number of trees and land etc which will submerge under the water. PVPCL plans to out source every work of the project including environment clearance to private firms and hope that this practice would speed up the work and would save unnecessary correspondence with the union government and other agencies. Before the project was transferred to the PVPCL it had been principally decided by the state government that keeping in view the urgency of drinking water in Delhi and tight time bound frame work of the project the work on the project would not be executed by the HPSEB.

The dispute on the share of 40 MW hydroelectric power project to be installed on the Dam site was still undecided. From the very beginning Himachal Pradesh had taken a clear stand saying that power generated on the Dam site would belong to Himachal Pradesh as all the resources being used for the production of electricity belongs to Himachal Pradesh. However Haryana and Rajasthan has objection on the claim of Himachal Pradesh and were demanding their share in the power to be generated on the Dam site on the pretext that they were art and part of the four states Dam project agreement.

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