HP seeks liberal Central aid for water infra



New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh on Friday asked the Centre to provide liberal financial support for development of water resources infrastructure in the state.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, in his speech at the 6th meeting of National Water Resources Council here today, said the state has launched World Bank funded Hydrology Project II, to develop a robust, comprehensive and reliable hydrological database at a cost of Rs 59.48 crore.

Under this, observation stations are being set up to monitor surface water, ground water and meteorological parameters and the data will be stored in an easily accessible computerised bank for better planning on water resources.

Singh said 2.31 lakh hectares of land has been identified as flood prone in the state of which 21,575 hectares has been covered under various flood protection measures. The government will channelise Seer Khad in a phased manner to protect big areas of Mandi, Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts from flash floods during Monsoons.

He said the third phase of Swan river channelisation will be undertaken to cover area between Santokhgarh bridge to Punjab border and Gagret bridge and proposal to channelise Chhonch Khad in Indora tehsil of Kangra district and Palchan to Aut on river Beas in Kullu districts has been prepared.

Efforts to execute new minor irrigation projects are being made and sprinkler irrigation encouraged. The state has also formulated its own 'State Water Policy.'

A ground water authority to regulate, manage and develop ground water resources has been established, he said.

As per 2011 Census, 89.5 per cent families are using tap water in the state in comparison to 84.1 per cent in the previous count. He said 83.9 per cent of tap water is being made available from treated sources in the state as against 32 per cent at the national level.

Singh said as per a survey in 2003, there were 53,201 habitations in the state of which 10,725 remain and 2,530 habitations of these will be covered during the current fiscal.

The state government is providing 70 litres drinking water per person per day in rural areas, he said.

PTI