Survey begins for Himachal dam to supply water to Delhi (Lead, Superseding earlier story)

September 4th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Sep 4 (IANS) Survey work has begun for setting up a multi-billion hydro-electricity project in Himachal Pradesh that will provide much-needed water to Delhi and also generate power for the hill state. Construction work on the dam is to begin by the end of next year.The Rs.22.13-billion 40 MW Renuka Dam project is to be constructed on the Yamuna river in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Pre-construction activities have already begun at the dam site, according to documents available with IANS.

Sirmaur deputy commissioner Pushpinder Rajput said a survey has been started to ascertain the area that would be submerged in the dam waters.

“Various surveys, including topographical, geological and geophysical, are in progress and likely to be completed by end of this year,” he said.

The state government has also accelerated the work relating to forest and environment clearances.

“A case for diverting 642 hectares of forest land for constructing the dam is under progress. For acquisition of private land, the government has set up committees that will negotiate with villagers whose land is to be acquired. The government has plans to acquire 627 hectares of private land,” officials here said.

According to the government’s relief and rehabilitation plan, every affected family will get 100 units of electricity free of cost for a period of 10 years starting from the date of commissioning of the project.

As per the agreement between Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi, the hill state will bear the cost of installing the electrical mechanical equipment, including turbine generators, while the Delhi government will pay for the dam and other construction costs.

The Delhi Jal Board, in charge of the water supply to the national capital, has already agreed to initially provide Rs.3 billion to the hill state.

“The Delhi government is willing to pay Rs.3 billion so that we can start the construction work,” said Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation director Tarun Kapoor.

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