To give Delhi drinking water, Himachal seeks special aid

Shimla, Jan 7 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh will seek special assistance from the central government for the construction of a multi-billion-rupee hydropower dam project that is meant to supply drinking water to Delhi, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Thursday.

The issue of Renuka dam project will be raised with the union government for special project assistance as it has been declared as project of national importance, an official statement quoting the chief minister said.

He said the state has been consistently seeking funds to the tune of Rs.1,981.35 crore for the project.

The Rs.3,600 crore project, to be constructed on a tributary of the Yamuna river in Sirmaur district, is meant to supply 275 million gallons per day to Delhi and also generate 40 MW of electricity for Himachal.

As per an agreement signed in 1994, water from the Renuka dam, a national status project located some 250 km from Delhi, will be released into the Yamuna river, from where it will flow to Haryana’s Hathinikund barrage and finally reach Delhi.

The project has hit a number of environmental roadblocks.

Virbhadra Singh also expressed concern over delay in commissioning of various hydro projects in the state.

Reviewing the state-run hydropower projects, he said a 13.8-km long power transmission line from Bhoktu to Akpa and a 34-km from Akpa to Pooh line have been completed.

The statement said Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd is creating a transmission network with an outlay of Rs.2,200 crore with funding from ADB under the Clean Energy Transmission Investment Programme.

The amount would be made available to the state as 90 percent grant and 10 percent loan.

Himachal Pradesh has identified hydro potential of 27,436 MW out of which 10,264 MW has been harnessed so far.

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