A memorandum of understanding was signed on Friday between the Himachal Pradesh and Haryana governments for construction of the Adi Badri dam bordering both the states with an outlay of Rs 215.35 crore for the rejuvenation of the Saraswati river, which is mentioned in Hindu mythology.
The pact was signed in Panchkula near here by the Chief Secretaries of both the states in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar.
Adi-Badri in Yamunanagar district is considered the origin of the Saraswati river. Water from Somb river, a tributary of the Yamuna that originates in the Shivalik hills, will be stored to flow into Saraswati.
The entire dam construction cost will be borne by Haryana and Himachal Pradesh will get benefits of the project, including a share in the water.
Speaking on the occasion, Thakur said with the signing of this pact the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be fulfilled who has shown his commitment to revive the Saraswati river while addressing the people on April 3, 2014, in Kurukshetra town.
He said the project would also be beneficial for Himachal Pradesh as 3.92 hectare metre water per annum would be earmarked for the state for drinking water requirement and 57.96 hectare metre for irrigation.
He said the dam would not only be used primarily for revival of Saraswati River but also help water conservation in the region. The entire funding of the project would be arranged by the Haryana government.
Both the governments would be free to prepare the tourism-related projects as well as any other infrastructure facilities that may be required for welfare and development of local people, without compromising the project’s primary objectives.
Thakur said only 21 families of the state would be displaced and they would be properly rehabilitated.
Any unforeseen cost and expenditure related to Adi Badri dam in future would be borne by Haryana and no liability on this account would be passed on to Himachal Pradesh, he said.
Thakur said on completion of the project, the Saraswati river would again come alive. Out of the total proposed area, 31.16 hectare land falls in Himachal which includes 0.67 hectare private land and 30.49 hectare forest land.
The dam would get 224 hectare metre water from Somb river of Himachal Pradesh that falls in Yamuna near Adi-Badri.
He said HPPCL would be the executing agency for construction of the dam and its related infrastructure.
Haryana Chief Minister Khattar said the Saraswati, Ganga and the Yamuna were the most holy rivers of the country.
He said with the construction of the dam, the Saraswati river would flow throughout the year with 20 cusecs water all the time.
Khattar said the Adi Badri Dam Construction Monitoring Committee has been constituted for planning, supervising and monitoring the work.