The Delhi government has provided Rs. 214.83 crore to Himachal Pradesh for a hydroelectric project that will provide drinking water to the national capital, Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has said.
"The Delhi government has deposited Rs. 214.83 crore with Himachal Pradesh for the construction of the Renuka Dam (in Sirmaur district), that will provide drinking water to Delhi," Dhumal told the state assembly on Thursday.
He said the total cost of the project is Rs. 2,676.04 crore, out of which 15 percent would be spent on rehabilitation of the families affected by the project.
"Fifteen percent of the total cost of the project would be spent on rehabilitating families. It would render 84 families landless and 81 families homeless," Dhumal said, while replying to a question by Congress member Kaul Singh Thakur.
He said the central government had decided to bear 90 percent expenditure of the project, while the rest would be borne by northern states, including Punjab and Haryana.
The chief minister said because of the delay in the project, its cost escalated to Rs. 2,676.04 crore from Rs. 1,600 crore.
Dhumal said the state would provide more economic benefits to the project-affected families.
"While the compensation amount has been increased from Rs. 1.79 lakh to Rs. 2.50 lakh per bigha for irrigated land, Rs. 67,000 to Rs. 1.5 lakh will be paid per bigha for semi-irrigated land," he added.
The 148-metre-high dam on the Giri river, a tributary of the Yamuna, 350 km from Delhi, will provide 23 cubic metres of water per second to Delhi and will generate 40 MW of electricity for the hill state.
Water from the dam will be released into the Yamuna river, from where it will reach Haryana's Hathni Kund barrage and finally Delhi.
The Renuka dam project, named the Lord Parshuram Sagar project, has been facing protests with affected families rejecting the compensation being offered in lieu of their land that will be submerged by the reservoir.
Under the banner of Renuka Bandh Jan Sangharsh Samiti, residents of over a dozen villages have launched an agitation in the area. They claim the government has not taken them into confidence before starting the land acquisition process.