Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Towards purchase of land for the project by Himachal Govt.

Work on the project had been hanging fire

Project promises to alleviate Delhi water scarcity problems

NEW DELHI: Giving much needed impetus to the long-pending Renuka Dam project, the Delhi Jal Board has decided to release Rs.300 crore to the Himachal Government for purchase of land for the venture that promises to alleviate Delhi’s water woes.

In the absence of a consensus on sharing of water and power that will be generated from the dam, work on the Rs.3,000-crore project has been hanging fire.

The Jal Board’s decision to release the money for the project will come as a relief to the Central Government that has been asking the concerned governments of the Upper Yamuna Basin states to step up work on the project.

Pointing out that the Board has agreed to release the money for enabling the Himachal Government to begin work, Jal Board Chairperson Arun Mathur said: “The issue has been pending for long. States like Rajasthan are yet to give a go-ahead because some of their concerns have not been addressed. Delhi for its part has been keen to initiate work on the Renuka Dam as well as the Kishau Dam and Lakhawar-Vyasi Dam projects.”

“The Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary have been regularly monitoring the projects and they have time and again taken up the issue with the Union Ministry for Water Resources as well,” he added.

“We have been pressing the stakeholders to allow the work to begin. And as far as their concerns stand, these can be discussed even as the construction work progresses. None of the States stands to lose anything. The water and power situation will only improve when all three dams are ready,” he asserted.

As per the initial agreement signed in November 1994, Delhi will get the full supply of water from the Renuka Dam till the Kishau Dam and Lakhawar-Vyasi Dam projects become functional.

“Renuka Dam will take at least five years to complete. And since time is of essence, it is in the best interest of all States to let the work get off the ground,” Mr. Mathur said.

Referring to the bottlenecks coming in the way, he said, “the project has received the maximum number of clearances and promises to lessen the water and power shortage in several States. This in itself calls for greater cooperation and interaction between the concerned governments.”

The Renuka Dam, located in Himachal Pradesh on the Giri river, will offer a storage capacity of 542 million cubic meters of water and an installed capacity of 40 Mega watts of power.