Shimla: Faced with an onslaught of Independent Power Producers diverting rivers and streams for hydropower generation, the government has assured the people that their riparian rights had been protected as it had been made mandatory to release a minimum of 15% discharge in every season.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh over a video conference told media persons that to protect the downstream aqua life, drinking and irrigation water needs of the people every hydroelectric project implementing agency had been asked to uphold the riparian rights of the people. “A minimum discharge of 15 % in all seasons has been mandatory which has even been incorporated in the states hydro policy” said Virbhadra.
The government was remodeling drinking water supply schemes in a phased manner where discharges at sources had reduced said the chief minister. A large number of time bound big budgeted drinking water supply schemes were under execution, he said adding that a drinking water supply scheme for Nahan town was also likely to be augmented to cater to the increased population of the town.
Talking about other issues he said that to provide essential commodities for all ration card holders at affordable prices the government had kept aside Rs 100 crore. Subsidized rations are being provided to 1,403,334 ration card holders, 5.14 lakh below poverty line families and 1.97 lakh antyodaya families said Virbhadra.
In response to a query from Chamba district he said that construction on a cement plant would soon start and it would generate many employment avenues. The government had set up the trust for regulating and putting up way side amenities for holding the annual Manimahesh Yatra, he said.
The chief minister said that the state had registered a growth of 9.3 percent, which was higher than the national average. About 40,000 daily wage earners had been provided regular government employment and brought under a pension entitlement after retirement, he said.