Transport and Forest Minister Govind Thakur said that the government would fully exploit the water transport potential available in the state. While presiding over a meeting on water transport here today, he said that there were immense possibilities of water transport on dams built on different rivers in the state, which should be properly exploited. This would provide transportation facilities to the people and water sports and transport activities would also be encouraged.The Transport Minister said that a detailed project report had been prepared from a private agency IT Maritine Pvt. Ltd to find out the possibilities of water transportation at Chamera dam and Chowk Dam in Chamba district, Bhakra Dam located in Bilaspur district, which would develop water transport facilities on these dams.He urged the officials of the respective departments and the Deputy Commissioners of different districts to work with mutual coordination so that the project could be given prompt execution. He said the interests of the local people should be kept in mind while preparing the plan and it should also be ensured that they get opportunities of employment and self employment.
Govind Thakur said that according to the report submitted by the consultation agency, water transport facility could be provided in 91 kms at Bhakra Dam, whereas about 52 kms in Kol Dam and 27 kms in Chamera. He also directed to explore the possibilities of water transport facility in Pong dam and other rivers and dams in the state.As per the detailed project report, Rs 21.86 crore would be spent on Bhakra Dam, Rs 2.69 crore on Chamera and Rs 1.55 crore for developing water transport facilities on Koll dam.The impacts on the people engaged in fishery activities were also discussed in the meeting and experts of the Water Authority of India informed that these transport facilities were made available only from the identified locations and will be no effect on the fishery activity.The technical member of the Indian Water Route Authority S.K. Kang gave detailed information on the water route transportation on this occasion.Director, Technical of the Authority AK Mishra gave a detailed presentation on water transport in Bhakra, Chamera and Kol dam.Additional Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Principal Secretary Jagdish Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of various districts, senior officers of different departments and various hydel power projects of the state were also present in the meeting.