Bihar demands from MP 3,500 cusecs of water from Bansagar dam

Bihar government on Thursday described as unjustified Madhya Pradesh's demand for payment for water from Bansagar dam in that state and demanded release of 3,500 cusecs of water from it daily to tide over irrigation water woes of the farmers.

Patna: Bihar government on Thursday described as unjustified Madhya Pradesh's demand for payment for water from Bansagar dam in that state and demanded release of 3,500 cusecs of water from it daily to tide over irrigation water woes of the farmers.

"It has been noted in recent days that there has been steady reduction in volume of water being released from Bansagar dam to Sone canal system causing problems for our farmers in irrigation of their farmland," Bihar Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary wrote to his MP counterpart Jayant Kumar Malaiya.

When MP officials were contacted over the issue, they said the supply was stopped due to non-payment and asked for payment which was totally unjustified, Chaudhary said.

Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had adopted a resolution in 1973 for sharing the waters of River Sone and the cost of the Bansagar Dam.

At the Bansagar Control Board's meeting on November 11 last year, it was decided that engineers of three states would decide on sharing cost of upkeep and maintenance of the dam which would be vetted by the Central Water Commission, Chaudhary said in the letter.

Bihar government has accordingly made a payment of Rs 408 crore against the total cost of the Bansagar dam project at Rs 1,593.11 crore, he said, adding this Rs 408 crore exceeded Bihar's share of the project cost of Rs 405 crore.

Chaudhary alleged that "pressure was being mounted on us for more payment on account of our share for the project by reducing volume of release of water to Sone canal system."

Stating that Bihar government was willing to pay its share of cost for upkeep and maintenance of Bansagar dam, Chaudhary demanded that 3,500 cusecs water be released from dam into Sone canal system daily.