Even as irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes is firm upon drawing water from Pabbar river in Rohru for Shimla town, chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said that the government would take final view after considering the three-member cabinet sub-committee report.
In the wake of deepening row over water supply projects for Shimla, the chief minister had constituted a three-member sub-committee headed by Vidya Stokes.
The other two members comprised industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri and urban development minister Sudhir Sharma. Stokes who heads the cabinet subcommittee had recently expressed her displeasure over chief minister's decision to constitute the cabinet subcommittee.
Stokes who is the seniormost minister in the cabinet next to chief minister Virbhadara Singh had taken up the matter personally with the then finance minister P Chaidambram to get fund for the water supply scheme from Pabbar costing about Rs 1300 crore.
Stokes had been persistently pushing for the gravity water scheme from Chander Nahan lake, the origin of Pabbar river.
On several occasion Vidya Stokes had also taken up the matter personally with chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
What more, Stokes had announced the scheme from Pabbar during the Independence Day function on the historic ridge last year “There are two sources, one is Pabbar another Koldam from where we can draw water for Shimla town. Subsequent studies have shown that it was small lake at Chandarnahan and to bring water from pabbar to Shimla is a log-distanced scheme.
It was also not easy because the scheme will pass through private and government land, including some forest land. It takes decades to get the forest clearance,” chief minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Thursday.
Pabbar scheme is much expensive than that of Koldam, said Virbhadra Singh. So the department is of the view that it was safe and best to lift the water from Koldam.
We should expedite it before both the projects were declined by Centre. Speed is the essence of the project,” said chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
The chief minister is going to Delhi on Friday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the state- related issues.
He said he had been raising the state-related issues since long and during his last visit he met Prime Minister and several ministers and raised several issues, including fiscal assistance to the state.
He said that 13th Finance Commission had done injustice with the state as it got Rs 10,000 crore less even than that of Tripura.
Now, the 14th Finance Commission has been set up and we have raised the issue of the state interest. Now what the 13th Finance Commission has done cannot be undone, but we can take up the issue with Centre, added the chief minister.