Sunday, June 10, 2007

Centre mulls Rs 75,000-cr plan for Bihar floods

To put an end to Bihar’s woes caused by annual flooding from Nepal’s rivers, the Centre is working on a Rs 75,000-crore proposal to build three river barrages on Saptkoshi, Baghmati and Gandak rivers.

The Centre has constituted a high-level team comprising of Central and state representatives, which will visit Kathmandu shortly to negotiate with the Nepalese government and convince them of the mutual benefit of the project, which has already received in-principle approval from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The team, to be headed by the chairman of Centre’s special taskforce on Bihar Satish Chandra Jha, will include representatives from Union ministries of foreign affairs, water resources and power, Bihar and UP. Efforts are also on to take the chief ministers of the two states on board along with an Union minister of either of the ministries mention above.

“While persuading the ADB to fund the projects, we argued that support for regional cooperation between India and Nepal on river system will eradicate the problem of arms struggle through Maoist movement in the region,”Jha said.

“Among the three barrages, the technical papers for a dam on Sapt Koshi have already been prepared. The dam will be named Pancheswar and will cost about Rs 20,000 crore. The ADB has agreed to finance the entire project,” Jha added.

The Pancheswar project, apart from controlling floods in the northeastern districts of Bihar, will also generate 7,500 mw of electricity, Jha added.

No comments: