Lakhwar-Vyasi dam on Yamuna river to meet water needs of Delhi, 5 other states
However, environmentalists said damming the Yamuna would have adverse ecological implications and reduce water flow to lower riparian states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The Centre on Tuesday signed an agreement with six states to construct the Lakhwar-Vyasi multi-purpose dam on the Yamuna river to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of downstream partner states, including national capital Delhi.
“Delhi will not face a water problem for the next 20-25 years once the project is completed. Cities in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh will also gain from this project,” union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari said at an event marking the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the project, which will cost Rs 40,000 crore and be completed by 2023.
The multi-purpose project in the upper Yamuna basin area will also generate 300 MW of power, which Uttarakhand will get as it will bear the cost of putting up the power generation systems. As per the terms of the agreement, the Centre will bear 90% of the project cost. The six states will bear the rest.
However, environmentalists said damming the Yamuna would have adverse ecological implications and reduce water flow to lower riparian states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. “In non-monsoon months Yamuna will not exist downstream of Dehradun district once all these dams are built,” said Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network of Dams Rivers and People (SANDRP).
The project envisages a 204-meter high concrete dam on the Yamuna at Lohari village in the Dehradun district. The dam will have the carrying capacity of 330.66 million cubic metres (MCM) of water, which will help irrigate 33,780 hectares of land and will also provide 78.83 MCM of water for domestic and industrial use for the six states, according to a government statement. The Lakhwar dam water reservoir will be regulated by the Upper Yamuna River Board as per the water distribution agreement signed in 1994.
Gadkari announced that besides the Lakhwar project, the Kisau and Renukaji projects will also be built in the upper Yamuna basin. For Kisau project, a 236-meter high concrete dam will be built on Tons river, a tributary of Yamuna in Dehradun district. For the Renukaji project, a 148-meter high dam will be built on Giri river, another tributary of Yamuna in Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh.
Delhi will get water from all the three dams.
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said Lakhwar is a national project and will benefit six partner states and also help his own meet its “power needs.”
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Aug 29, 2018 08:49:57