Yogi Adityanath assures to give land to Uttarakhand for Pancheshwar hydel project
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has assured to hand over Uttarakhand land in the possession of his government for expediting the transnational Pancheshwar Multipurpose Hydropower Project on Mahakali river along Indo-Nepal border.
Sources in the government informed that assurance came at a meeting between Adityanath and irrigation minister Satpal Maharaj on Saturday late evening in which the latter stated that the Panchsehwar project - which is in the priority list of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - cannot be started unless Uttarakhand gets ample land to rehabilitated more than 130 villages.
Maharaj asserted the Trivendra Singh Rawat government’s wish to resolve the pending issue of handing out UP irrigation department’s land—lying in Uttarakhand— was stalled as the state lacks adequate alternate land bank for rehabilitating the affected population.
In such a situation, Maharaj stressed, land from Uttar Pradesh was the only solution for early expedition of the Pancheshwar Hydropower Project as Uttarakhand has no alternate land pool of its own.
The Uttar Pradesh CM assured him of resolving the issue at the earliest since the project was to be started within a period fixed by the Centre. He was positive about finalising the share of his government’s contribution for the Jamrani power project to be constructed on the Gaula river in Nainital district.
The sources said the Pancheshwar project is likely to get impetus as Modi himself shown interest in it under his long-term agenda with the Nepalese government and to further improve bilateral ties vis-a-vis China. Recently, the PM directed the Union water resources minister to speed up work so that the project can be started in the first quarter of 2018.
The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is a mutual interest project for India and Nepal covered under the Mahakali Treaty signed by the two neighbours in 1996. New Delhi has agreed to bear 65% of project but expects only half of the 5,000 MW power to be generated by the project. The project offers benefit of regulated water for irrigation to a vast area of agricultural land in both countries along with benefit of flood control in downstream areas.