New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh today sought liberal financial assistance from the central government for developing water resource infrastructure in the state.
Speaking at the National Water Resources Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said 2.31 lakh hectares have been identified as flood prone in the state, of which only 21,575 hectares have been covered under flood-protection measures.
“The government will channelise the ‘Seer khad’ to protect flood prone areas in Mandi, Hamirpur and Bilaspur district. Similarly, the Phase III of the Swan river channelization would be undertaken from Santokhgarh (in Una district) up to Punjab border.”
The chief minister said of 5.83 lakh hectares of cultivable area in the state, only 2.53 lakh hectares have been covered under various irrigation schemes.
“Efforts are being made to execute medium and minor irrigation projects to cover entire cultivable area. Sprinkler irrigation is being encouraged to make best efficient use of available water resources,” he added.
To conserve rainwater, Virbhadra Singh said water harvesting structures have been made mandatory for all upcoming government buildings, government schools, hotels and industrial units.
The state has launched a World Bank-funded Rs.59.48-crore project to develop a hydrological database, the chief minister added.