Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 27
After a delay running into decades and cost escalation into thousands of crores, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually laid the foundation stone of the Renukaji Dam project from Mandi today.
Essentially a water supply and storage scheme for the Delhi NCR, the Rs 6,946 crore project will supply 23 cumec water to the beneficiary. Besides, it will also generate 200 million units of energy in a surface powerhouse with 40 MW installed capacity, which will be utilized by the state.
Being built on the Giri, the tributary of the Yamuna, in Sirmaur district, the project envisages the construction of a 14-metre-high rock fill dam. It will store monsoon discharges which otherwise go unused, leading to the formation of a 24-km long reservoir. The storage capacity of the dam will be 498 cubic metres.
“When the project is completed, a large area will be directly benefited by it. Whatever income is generated by it, a large part of it will be spent on the development here,” said the Prime Minister.
According to power officials, active work on the project had started way back in 1993. However, it took almost three decades since then to lay the foundation stone of the project. “There were several cumbersome issues like land acquisition and forest clearances that added to the delay,” said a power official.
The project finally took off when an inter-state agreement was signed among six beneficiary states, Delhi, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in January 2019. According to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the DPR was accepted by the Ministry of Jal Shakti on December 9, 2019, at Rs 6,946.99 crore after the signing of the agreement. As per the agreement, 90 per cent of the of the cost of irrigation or drinking water component will be provided by central government, while the remaining 10 per cent will be borne by rest of the basin states.