Centre, six states ink MoU for Lakhwar multi-purpose project

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The Centre and six states of North India signed a memorandum of understanding today for construction of Lakhwar multi-purpose project in the Upper Yamuna basin in Uttarakhand. Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari signed the MoU with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan, Trivendra Singh Rawat of Uttarakhand, Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, and Himachal Pradeshs Jai Ram Thakur in Delhi for the project worth Rs 3,966.51 crore. The Lakhwar project envisages construction of a 204-metre-high concrete dam across the Yamuna near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand with a live storage capacity of 330.66 million cubic metre (MCM). This storage will provide irrigation to 33,780 hectares of land and availability of 78.83 MCM water for domestic, drinking and industrial use in the six basin states. The project, which is to be executed by Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVL), will generate 300 MW of power. Out of the total project cost of Rs 3,966.51 crore, the power component of Rs 1,388.28 crore will be borne by the Uttarakhand government, which will get the benefit of the total power generation once the project is complete. Out of the remaining Rs 2,578.23 crore, which forms the irrigation and drinking water components, 90 per cent will be borne by the Centre (Rs 2,320.41 crore). The rest 10 per cent will be divided between Haryana – Rs 123.29 crore (47.82 per cent), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Rs 86.75 crore (33.65 per cent), Rajasthan – Rs 24.08 crore (9.34 per cent), Delhi – Rs 15.58 crore (6.04 per cent) and Himachal Pradesh – Rs. 8.13 crore (3.15 per cent), the ministry said. Storage created as a result of implementation of Lakhwar project will be shared by the basin states in proportion to their overall annual allocations as given in the mother MoU signed between the six states on May 12, 1994. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi are the six Upper Yamuna Basin states. Upper Yamuna refers to the stretch of the Yamuna from its origin to the Okhla Barrage in Delhi. The six states had signed an MoU on May 12, 1994, regarding allocation of surface flow of Yamuna river. The agreement had recognised the need to create storage facilities in Upper Yamuna Basin to conserve and utilise the monsoon flows of the river in a regulated manner. After completion of all these storage projects in Upper Yamuna basin (including Lakhwar), the total benefits in terms of additional irrigation potential created will be 1,30,856 hectares, water availability for various uses will be 1,093.83 MCM and power generation capacity will be 1,060 MW. Stressing that the focus is also on abating pollution in the Yamuna under Clean Ganga Mission, Gadkari said 34 projects are being taken up on the river out of which 12 are in Delhi, which will ensure that the water going to Haryana and Rajasthan is nirmal. While Lakhwar project will provide adequate water to all six States, the interventions being made under Namami Gange programme will ensure pollution abatement in Yamuna serving the twin purpose, he said. He added that Lakhwar project will not only ensure water availability but also improve irrigation, generate electricity and fulfil the drinking water needs of all six states. On Ken-Betwa river-linking project, Gadkari said he was hopeful that an agreement will come out of the meeting between Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.