Mukesh Agnihotri, Deputy Chief Minister called on Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat along with his officers of Jal Shakti Vibhag in his office at New Delhi today.
Sh. Agnihotri exhorted that Government of India should come forward to extend financial assistance to the State for the restoration of water supply and irrigation schemes and other related infrastructure which has suffered massive damage during the recent heavy monsoon rains.
He apprised the Union Minister about the unprecedented losses suffered by the State due to heavy rains, cloud bursts, flash floods etc. Sh. Agnihotri disclosed that the damage to the Jal Shakti Department figures at around Rs.1630 crore.
He urged the Government of India to release a sum of Rs.500 crores in the for restoration and retrofitting of the damaged schemes under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). He further urged that the schemes of JJM which have been damaged completely should be considered afresh and funds be released accordingly.
The Union Minster assured to take up the issue with the Ministry of Finance and will take it to the Union Cabinet so that requisite assistance could be provided.Sh. Agnihotri stated that though rain damages have been widespread, but maximum devastation has been observed along the banks of river Beas.
There has been a history of such occurrences in this river and Jal Shakti Vibhag has prepared a detailed project report for Rs.1669 crores for channelization of this River after getting a study conducted from the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune.
Presently this proposal is under review with the Central water Commission (CWC), The Deputy Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to approve the same at the earliest as a measure in advance to safeguard life and property of people particularly in Kullu-Manali area.
Sh. Agnihotri emphasized the importance of channelization of Beas River in view of its strategic importance, as Kullu-Manali Airport and the Chandigarh Leh National Highway lies on the bank of this river. He further added that channelization of this river would ensure safe movement of tourists, besides transportation of Horticulture produce from the Kullu and Lahaul valley.
Sh. Mukesh Agnihotri thanked the Union Minister for granting investment clearance to Phina Singh Irrigation Project of Rs. 643 crore in District Kangra and Channelization of Swan River amounting to Rs. 339 crores in District Una, which had been pending for long.
He also urged the Union Government to release the funds so that these works could be started and raised the issue for release of Central Assistance to ongoing irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) and for sanctioning of new irrigation projects for Beet area and Kutlehar in Una District.
Presently these proposals are pending with Government of India for approval.Deputy Chief Minister informed the Union Minister that State has taken follow-up action on the priorities fixed by the Union Minister during his visit to vibrant villages in Himachal Pradesh.
As advised, a team of senior officers of Jal Shakti Vibhag had visited Leh and Ladakh to study Anti Freeze water supply system and department has prepared proposals amounting to Rs. 101.58 crore for 17 such schemes in Tribal area.
He requested for approval of these schemes under Jal Jeevan Mission. He also requested that 45 proposals for direct groundwater recharge for sustainability of water supply schemes, amounting to Rs.452.60 crore, should also be taken up under Jal Jeevan Mission.
Sh. Mukesh Agnihotri also apprised the Union Minister that a sample DPR for irrigation scheme in Chango Area of Kinnaur District has been submitted to CWC for review and 20 such irrigation schemes proposals for Rs.61 crore are ready for submission once the comments from CWC are received.
He requested the Union Minister for considering funding of these projects on priority.The Union Minister directed the concerned officers who attended the meeting to address the issues raised by Sh. Agnihotri on priority basis.
The Union Minister raised the issue of Kishau Dam Project and requested that the State should resolve the issue regarding power pricing and accept the proposal made by the Union Finance Ministry to the State for special long term loan so that this important project takes off at the earliest.Sh. Agnihotri assured that the State would take appropriate action in the best interest of the state