Himachal seeks liberal central assistance for developing water resources
Seer Khad would be channelized in a phased manner to protect big area of Districts of Mandi, Hamirpur and Bilaspur from flash floods during monsoon season
Himachal Pradesh Government today sought assistance of union Government to provide liberal financial support for development of water resources infrastructure in the state. While speaking in 6th meeting of National Water Resources Council at New Delhi today Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh said that state government had launched World Bank funded 59.48 crore Hydrology Project-II, to develop a robust, comprehensive and reliable hydrological data base in the State. Observation stations were being established to monitor surface water, ground water and meteorological parameters. He said that the observed data would be stored in easy accessible computerized data bank for dissemination to various stake holders for effective planning in water resources sector and bring-in cost effectiveness in water related investment in the State.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that 2.31 lakh hectares land had been identified as flood prone in the state, out of which 21575 hectare land had been covered under various flood protection measures.
Seer Khad would be channelized in a phased manner to protect big area of Districts of Mandi, Hamirpur and Bilaspur from flash floods during monsoon season and 3rd phase of Swan River channelization would be undertaken to cover area between Santokhgarh bridge upto Punjab border and Gagret bridge. He said that project proposal had been prepared for channelization of Chhonch Khad in Indora tehsil of Kangra district and the area from Palchan to Aut on River Beas in Kullu district. Chief Minister said that out of total 5.83 lakh hectare of cultivable area in the state 3.35 lakh hectare area can be covered under Assured Irrigation facilities and added that so far an area of 2.53 lakh hectare had been covered under various irrigation schemes. He said that efforts were being made to execute new medium/minor irrigation projects to cover entire cultivable area under irrigation facilities and sprinkler irrigation was being encouraged to make best use of available water resources in the state.
The State government has formulated its own “State Water Policy” to provide adequate and safe drinking water to all citizens and assured irrigation to maximum feasible cultivated area through public participation narrated he. He said that keeping in view the impact of global warming, a new pattern to design/execute new water supply schemes had been formulated under which bigger water resources were being tapped to cover maximum possible population. He said that 28073 hand pumps had been installed in water scarcity areas of the State and urban water supply schemes were being augmented keeping in view the increasing population of urban areas in the state. The Government had also set up Ground Water Authority to regulate, manage and develop ground water resources in the state and construction of water harvesting structures had been made mandatory for all Government buildings, institutional buildings, schools, hotels and industrial units to conserve rain water to further utilize it for various purposes such as gardening, cleaning etc. He said that as per 2011 census, 89.5 % families were using tap water in the state in comparison to 84.1 % people in previous census, adding that 83.9% of tap water was being made available from treated sources in the state as against 32% at National Level.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that Government would accord priority to provide safe drinking water and irrigation facilities to the farmers and added that all census villages had been provided safe drinking water in the state. As per 2003 survey there were 53201 habitations in the state out of which 42476 habitations have been covered up to march 2012 and the remaining 10725 habitations would be covered during the current financial year. He said that State Government was providing 70 litres drinking water per person per day in rural areas.
Press note: Information & Public Relation, HP Govt.