By: Vijay Kumar Verma, Group Editor-ICN World
SHIMLA : Renukaji Dam Project in Himachal Pradesh, foundation stone of which was laid by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mandi during his visit to the State on 27th December, 2021, has been designed to meet 40 percent of the drinking water needs of NCR Delhi besides generating 40 MW of electricity.
Technical Advisory Committee of the Government of India had approved the cost of the project at Rs. 6946.99 crore in December 2019. In this, total cost of water component is Rs. 6647.46 crore and Government of India will bear 90 percent of expenditure of this component i.e. Rs. 5982.72 crore.
The Project envisages construction of 148 meter high rock fill dam, which will store the monsoon discharge leading to formation of a 24 kms long reservoir. The Live Storage of dam will be 498 Million cubic meters which shall be used for supplying drinking water at 23 cubic meters per second to National Capital Territory of Delhi and it will fulfill about 40 percent of drinking water requirements of Delhi. It will also generate 200 Million units of energy in a surface power house with 40 MW installed capacity which shall be utilized by Government of Himachal Pradesh.
The construction of project is expected to start by December 2022 and will be completed in six years.
The Project was conceived as a storage water project on Giri River in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The dam site is about 40 km away from Nahan, near famous Renukaji Shrine.
To exploit the power potential of Giri River initial investigation work had been started by the then Government of Punjab way back in 1942. In the year 1964 Government of Himachal Pradesh started investigation on two projects and work on one of the projects i.e. Giri Hydroelectric Project was started in 1970s and completed in due course of time.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Renuka ji dam was accepted by Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of Department of Water Resources in the year 2000 for total price of Rs. 1224.64 crore. However, due to some reasons much progress could not be made on the project. DPR of the project was again accepted by TAC in the year 2015 with estimated cost of Rs. 4596.76 crore. However due to non-signing of Interstate Agreement between beneficiary states, the work on project could not be initiated.
After vigorous pursuance by Government of India, the Interstate Agreement amongst six beneficiary States viz. Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh was signed on 9th January, 2019.
The approximate employment of 13.14 lakh man days will be generated for skilled, semiskilled and unskilled youths of the State. In line with Resettlement and Rehabilitation policy, programs will be run for skill enhancement of local youth to increase their employability. Catchment Area Treatment plan works with total outlay of Rs. 160,34,25,000 has been included in plan as well.
After commissioning of the project one percent of annual revenue will be distributed to the beneficiaries in the affected area every year.
Renuka Ji Dam project would go a long way in the development of tourism and adventure activities along with ensuring direct and indirect employment opportunities to youth which will further improve the socio-economic scenario of the area.