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New Delhi : Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari will on August 28, 2018, sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, Rajasthan – Vasundhara Raje , Uttarakhand – Trivendra Singh Rawat, Haryana-  Manohar Lal, Delhi – Arvind Kejriwal, and Himachal Pradesh – Jai Ram Thakur in New Delhi for the construction of   the Rs 3,966.51 crore Lakhwar Multi-Purpose project in the Upper Yamuna Basin.

The Lakhwar project envisages construction of a 204 m high concrete dam across river Yamuna near village Lohari  in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand with a live storage capacity of 330.66 million cubic metre (MCM) water. This storage will provide irrigation to 33,780 hectare 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 M/s Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVL), according to a PIB release.

Out of the total 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 -Rs123.29 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 May 12, 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 May 12, 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 utilise the monsoon flows of the river in a regulated manner. The MoU had also laid down the interim seasonal allocation of the annual utilisable flow of the river pending creation of the storage facilities.

Besides Lakhwar Multi-Purpose project for which the MoU will be signed on August 28, 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 m 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 hectare, 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 cumec 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.

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