Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri has said that the issue of acceptance of ambitious irrigation schemes of the state will be taken up with the Centre. He said that the irrigation of the fields of the state is depending on the Phina Singh Project, Sukhahar Project, and Veet Area Irrigation Schemes. At present, the state is running below the national average in irrigation. That’s why the center will be requested to approve irrigation schemes on a priority basis. Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri said this after meeting Agriculture Minister Mr. Chandra Kumar. Mr. Chandra Kumar pleaded with the Deputy Chief Minister to give special priority to Sukhahar Yojana for eight years. Giving his arguments on irrigation schemes, Mr. Chandra Kumar advocated working on a master plan to bring water to the fields in the low-lying areas. On the other hand, Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri argued that the center should approve all the schemes in the ratio of ninety-ten. He said that removing the condition of lifting water from BBNB by the Center will be beneficial only when the Center approves big projects. Argued that the old price of the Sukhahar Yojana was 153 crores whereas the revised price has reached around 220 crores. He assured Shri Chandra Kumar that the Investment Clearance Committee is headed by the Chief Secretary.
The meeting will be held on July 17, 2023, this plan will also be kept in its agenda. Similarly, the Feena Singh project is hanging in the balance. Its proposed cost is 643 crores, on which the state has spent Rs 300 crores. The meeting of the committee for approving the projects of the Center is on 10 July 2023. He said that it is included in the agenda and that the Center should help Himachal with this. Anyway, it is also included in the rules of the center that the center will give the remaining amount in the plan on which 50 percent will be spent by the state, so the center should release Rs 313 crore. He said that a center is also being made to approve a Rs 75 crore irrigation scheme for the Veet area of Una district and a Rs 46 crore irrigation scheme from Bharmauti in Kutlehar. The Deputy Chief Minister said that in connection with these works, he will meet the Union Minister and present the state’s stand. He said that the decision on the projects whose documents and formalities are complete should be taken soon. Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri said that continuous monitoring of water and irrigation projects in the state is being done at the state level and continuous efforts are being made to release the state’s share in timely funding projects. He said that the drilling work of 15 tubes has started for the Bulk Drug Park in the Una district and other tenders have also been floated to reach the water to the park, while a proposal to pour water into the ground has been sent to the Industries Department for approval is 2/4 only.
Mr. Mukesh Agnihotri said that the department has been told bluntly that there should be transparency in tenders and there should be no laxity at any level, there should be competition in tenders at every level so that the cost of schemes can be reduced.