Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday announced a Rs.50 crore allocation to speed up construction of a long-pending hydro-power dam project in Himachal Pradesh for providing water to Delhi.
Jaitley in his budget speech proposed an initial support of Rs.50 crore to solve the long-term water supply issues to the national capital region.
B.K. Kaushal, the project general manager, told IANS that the land acquisition process has been completed.
"We are yet to award compensations of Rs.482 crore," he said.
Water from the Renuka dam in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh will be released into the Yamuna river, from where it will flow to Haryana's Hathinikund barrage and finally reach Delhi.
"The Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL), a public sector undertaking executing the project, has requested the central government to provide Rs.1,981 crore to speed up construction of the dam," Kaushal said.
The over Rs.3,600 crore project, to be constructed on a tributary of the Yamuna river, is meant to supply 275 million gallons of water per day to Delhi and also generate 40 MW of electricity for Himachal.
The project has hit roadblocks repeatedly since an agreement was signed in 1994 that water from the Renuka dam would be supplied to Delhi.
The national status project is located some 250 km from Delhi.
The Delhi government has already given Rs.214.83 crore and Haryana Rs.25 crore to the HPPCL. So far, Rs.218 crore has been spent on the project.
The ministry of environment and forests had on Aug 31, 2010, objected to submergence of 775 hectares of forest land due to construction of the Renuka dam.
A fresh forest clearance proposal with minimum forest land diversion has already been submitted with the ministry. "The clearance from the ministry of environment and forests is in advance stage," he added.
The National Green Tribunal, a judicial body hearing environment-related cases, in an interim order July 28, 2011, directed the HPPCL to stay the land acquisition process in view of the dispute in total land requirement and the project's social impact.
The matter is still pending with the tribunal.