Shimla, January 21
The governments of Himachal and Haryana today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a dam on 77 acres in Himachal near the Adi Badri area of Yamunanagar for the revival of the Saraswati river. The project is estimated to cost Rs 215.35 crore.
The MoU was signed at Panchkula by the Chief Secretaries of both states in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar.
Thakur said that the signing of the MoU would pave the way for fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of reviving the Saraswati river. He added that the project would be useful for Himachal Pradesh as 3.92 hectare metre water per annum would be earmarked for the state for drinking purpose and 57.96 hectare metre for irrigation in the project affected habitations.
He said that the dam would not only be used primarily for the revival of the Saraswati river but also for water conservation in the region. He added that the Haryana Government would arrange funds for the project.
Thakur said that both governments would be free to prepare tourism projects as well as any other infrastructure facility, which may be required for the welfare and development of local people, from their own resources, without compromising the primary objectives of the dam project.
He said that 21 families of Himachal, which would be displaced, would be properly rehabilitated and the Haryana Government would bear the cost of the rehabilitation package for the oustees and the environmental protection package or any other unforeseen cost/ expenditure.
Of the total proposed area, 31.16 hectares fall in Himachal (0.67 hectares of private landowners and 30.49 hectares of forestland). He said that the dam would get 224 hectare metre water from the Somb river of Himachal that falls into the Yamuna near Adi Badri in Yamunanagar district. He added that the HPPCL would be the executing agency for the Adi Badri dam and its related infrastructure.
Khattar said that with the construction of the dam, the Saraswati river would flow throughout the year with 20 cusecs of water at all times. He added that the course of the Ghaggar river was said to be the course of the Saraswati river. The project would go a long way in promoting tourism activities in the area with the joint efforts of the governments of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Khattar said that the project when completed would open avenues for tourism, and also recharge groundwater.
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