Extending his gratitude to the Chief Ministers of all six states for mutually consenting to this impending project, Gadkari said that the problem of water shortage in all six states will be resolved once the project is complete as water flow in River Yamuna will improve in dry season from December to May/June every year. He hoped that more such projects, especially the ones which are stuck for several years due to lack of consensus amongst states, will take off.
The Lakhwar project was initially approved in 1976 but work on the project was suspended in 1992. The Lakhwar project envisages construction of a 204 m high concrete dam across river Yamuna near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand with a live storage capacity of 330.66 MCM. This storage will provide irrigation for 33,780 hectares land and availability of 78.83 MCM water for domestic, drinking and industrial use in the six basin states. The project will also generate 300 MW of power. The project is to be executed by Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVL).
Reiterating that the focus is also on abating pollution in River Yamuna under Clean Ganga Mission, Gadkari said that 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.
Gadkari said that the problem is not of water shortage but of water management and the Government is taking steps in this direction. 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 link, Gadkari was hopeful that an agreement will come out of the meeting between Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh today on the sidelines of an event.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath thanked the Central government for reviving this 42-year old project. He said that Lakhwar project will create irrigation potential besides generating electricity. “I thank Gadkariji for bringing all CMs on board and wish that the project will be successful,” Adityanath added.
Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Arjun Ram Meghwal and Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation U.P. Singh were also present on the occasion.
Out of the total Lakhwar project cost of Rs. 3,966.51 crore, the power component of Rs. 1,388.28 crore will be borne totally by the Uttarakhand government. Uttarakhand will also get the benefit of total power generation once the project is complete. Out of the remaining cost of Rs. 2,578.23 crore which form the irrigation and drinking water components, 90% will be borne by the Centre (Rs. 2,320.41 crore) and 10% will be divided between the States of Haryana -Rs.123.29 crore (47.82%), Uttar Pradesh/ Uttarakhand -Rs. 86.75 crore (33.65%), Rajasthan-Rs. 24.08 crore (9.34%), NCT Delhi -Rs. 15.58 crore (6.04%) and Himachal Pradesh -Rs. 8.13 crore (3.15%).
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 12.05.1994. Allocation of water from storage created by Lakhwar Dam Reservoir will be regulated by UYRB as per this MoU. Except the sharing of stored water all other resultant economic benefits including generation of hydropower due to construction of the dam are assigned to the State of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi are the six Upper Yamuna Basin states. Upper Yamuna refers to the stretch of River Yamuna from its origin to the Okhla Barrage in Delhi. The six states had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 12th May 1994 regarding allocation of surface flow of River Yamuna. The agreement had recognized the need to create storage facilities in Upper Yamuna Basin to conserve and utilize the monsoon flows of the river in a regulated manner. The MoU had also laid down the interim seasonal allocation of the annual utilizable flow of the river pending creation of the storage facilities.
Besides Lakhwar Multi-Purpose project for which the MoU was signed today, there are two other major projects being envisaged in the Upper Yamuna reaches which are Kishau Multi-Purpose project and Renukaji Multi-Purpose project. A fourth project is the Vyasi project, a run-of-the-river scheme under which a concrete dam across River Yamuna is being constructed near Vyasi village in Dehradun district. The Vyasi project is scheduled for commissioning by December 2018.
The Kishau Multi-purpose project which includes construction of a 236-mt-high concrete dam across River Tons, a tributary of River Yamuna in Dehradun district with a live storage capacity of 1324 MCM, will create irrigation potential of about 97,000 hectares, make available 517 MCM drinking water and generate 660 MW of power. The Renukaji Multi-Purpose project which has been conceived as a storage project on River Giri, tributary of Yamuna, in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, envisages construction of 148m high rock filled dam for supply of 23 cusec water to Delhi and generate 40 MW of power during peak flow.
As per the MoU of 1994, separate agreements will have to be done between the six basin states for each water storage project in the Upper reaches of River Yamuna. 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.