Amidst strong protest by Haryana, central team visits Renuka Dam site

Dam work unaffected of water politics played by Haryana. Environmental teams nod for three important Dam tunnels.

Despite strong opposition registered by Haryana against the Renuka Dam agreement, Delhi and Himachal governments seems to be unmoved with the stand of neighboring state which has almost rejected the Renuka dam agreement signed by it’s the then Congress Chief Minister Mr Bhajan Lal. This issue was very strongly raised by myHimachal and print media and after that, frantic activities were witnessed at Shimla, Renuka and at Delhi. Resultantly a high level central team of environmentalists have visited the Dam site for the first time since past 20 years.

As per sources the story on Renuka Dam figured in the meeting of Central Empowerment Committee [CEC] held in Delhi on September 13th, this month. As per decisions taken in the meeting to speed up the case of final environment clearance of the Dam a high level team of Union Ministry of Environment comprised of Prof. A. R. Usuf, Dr B. P. Das, Dr J. K. Sharma and Dr S. Bhomic visited the Dam site on September 17th to 19th and studied different environmental aspects of the Dam.

Mr R. K. Kahol, Senior Executive Engineer of the Renuka Dam Project, now being handled by the Pabbar Valley Power Corporation Limited told this correspondent that central team visited every site of Renuka Dam and studied in depth all the issues related with the environment, Shri Renuka Ji Lake and villages and other area to be submerged under the water.

He said that this time the major issues to be finalized were the construction of three tunnels on the Giri bed to divert the Giri water for the time being and after that these tunnels would be used to generate 40 M.W. electricity on the Dam site. He said that tunnels would be of 7 meter finished dia. The length of Tunnel no. 1 would be 1075 meter, T. 2 of 1500 meter and length of T. 3 would be 1575 meter. After diverting the Giri water through these tunnels the actual construction work on the Dam site would be initiated.

Mr Kahol disclosed that two of the tunnels would be used to flush out the silt from the Dam bed and one would be used for generating the Hydro power, after construction of the dam. He said that central team after going through all the facts and ground realities has given nod for the construction of three tunnels, which a crucial break through in getting environmental clearance to start the Dam work at the earliest, added Mr Kahol.

He refused to comment on the stand taken by the Haryana government on Renuka Dam but he added that if successive governments in the country starts disowning and going back on the bilateral agreements signed between the neighbouring states on sharing of river water, the whole country would be plunged in new crises as hundreds of such bilateral agreements exists in the country at present.

Politics on sharing of Yamuna and Giri water was on full swing in Haryana now a days. Haryana government has openly announced rejection of Renuka Dam agreement and has constituted a High Power Committee headed by Speaker of Haryana Assembly Dr Raghuvir Singh Kadyan to examine Yamuna water sharing and Renuka Dam project agreements. Political observers feels that former Chief Minsiter of Haryan Mr Bhajan Lal was being politically circled in the wake of these issues by saying that Mr Bhajan Lal sacrificed interests of Haryana by signing these bilateral agreements.

But there is another and most significant side of this issue which remains un addressed, that is this that this Haryanvi Water Politics is going to affect 2100 crore Renuka Dam project and one of the biggest Dam of the country, Kishou Dam Project to be constructed on the Tons river, before it starts.

After Congress government of Haryana rejected the agreement signed by its Chief Minister Bhajan Lal in 1994, Delhi and Himachal governments have not given any weightage to the demand raised by Haryana for equal share in water and power to be generated on the Renuka Dam site. The work is going on as usual on the project and there is no political of bureaucratic move going on to make fresh negotiations with Haryana.

Delhi Chief Minister Mrs Sheela Dixit had repeatedly announced that Delhi would get Giri water well before the commencement of Commonwealth Games to be organised in Delhi in 2010. However some unsettled bilateral issues time and again listed by myHimachal had been creating hurdle in the Dam work.

After the defeat of ruling Congress in the Delhi Municipal elections, Delhi government speeds up the work on Renuka Dam and sanctioned money for the project. It is pertinent to mention here that during last Municipal elections in Delhi, scarcity of drinking water was one of the main election planks against Congress which shattered the hopes of Congress party in the Municipal Elections which was won by the BJP.

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