The Rs 3,400-crore BRICS bank project of the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department that has been hanging fire for the past about three years may finally see the light of day. The project for drinking water schemes in Himachal Pradesh had hit the roadblock.
Department officials were suspecting that China was blocking the funding due to the presence of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile in Kangra district.
The department was to receive Rs 698 crore under the phase-I of the project. The department had also allotted tenders for various works. However, the New Development Bank (NDB) team never visited the state.
Sources told The Tribune that at a recent meeting, officials from the Union Ministry of Finance had asked the officials of the IPH Department to rework the project. The ministry officials had suggested the IPH officials to exclude Kangra district, expecting that its exclusion might end China’s resistance against the funding for Himachal.
The sources here said initially China had objected to funding of the projects by the NDB in both Himachal and Uttarakhand, citing border disputes with India in both the states. However, later the Ministry of External Affairs had clarified that there were no border dispute with China in Himachal. Despite that, China had not allowed the NDB to release the sanctioned loan to the state. But now both had reached the consensus.
IPH Secretary Vikas Labroo said the project would be implemented soon. He said earlier, 22 water supply schemes were included in the project. However out of these, eight schemes were included in the Jal Jivan Mission of the Government of India. Now again, 24 schemes, 13 of which had already been approved, had been sent to the NDB and approval for them was expected soon, he said.
IPH Secretary Vikas Labroo said the project would be implemented soon. He said earlier, 22 water supply schemes were included in the project. However of these, eight schemes were then included in Jal Jivan Mission of the Government of India. Now again, 24 schemes, 13 of which had already been approved, had been sent to the New Development Bank (NDB) and approval for them was expected soon
Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by Water Today staff and is generated from news feeds. Source: The Tribune