Shimla: Speaking at the 40th Ganga Flood Control Commission’ (GFCC) meeting held at the Institute of Public Administration (HIPA), in Shimla today, RN Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief, IPH, Himachal Pradesh, stressed upon channelization of major rivers causing extensive damage during floods in the state. He disclosed that about 2.31 lakh hectares area in the state gets affected by heavy floods every year, whereas till date only about 15,000 hectares of land has been protected from floods.
Sharma further disclosed that the major projects for flood control in Himachal Pradesh include the flood protection works on Giri Bata River in Sirmaur, a tributary of river Yamuna. He said that 220.5 hectare of land has been saved by way of construction of embankment in the vulnerable reaches of river Bata costing about rupees 5.75 crore whereas, 1,538 hectare of land of 20 villages is proposed to be protected for which a project of Rs 34.67 crore has been approved by GFCC is awaiting investment clearance from Planning Commission of India. Besides, 687.05 hectare of land and 887 houses are proposed to be protected by canalization of tributaries of Bata river for which a DPR has been proposed for approval to GFCC, Patna amounting to rupees 14.93 crore.
He revealed that river Pabbar, another tributary of Yamuna, is also proposed for channelization for which a DPR of Rs 55.62 crore has been prepared for protection of an area of 378 hectare besides about 2,000 houses.
Sharma said Swan River in Una, which was earlier known as River of Sorrow, has now been converted into the River of Prosperity since an area of 2,260 hectare has been proposed for flood protection in the first phase of the ambitious project being funded by NABARD whereas, the second phase of this project aimed at protecting an area of 5,000 hectare is proposed to be funded under the Flood Management Programme of Government of India.
As many as thirty renowned scientists and experts drawn from across the country attended the meeting, which included representatives from Jharkhand, Rajasthan, MP, Haryana, I.R.I. Rourkee, NIH, Patna, RDSO and Remote Sensing Application Centre Lucknow besides members from Ministry Of Water Resource and Ganga Flood Control Commission.