Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh today performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of ambitious project of channelization of all streams of Swan river from Santokhgarh bridge to Daulatpur bridge and channelization of Swan river from Daulatpur bridge upto Gagret bridge under Rs. 922.49 crore Swan River Flood Management Project at Kangad in Haroli constituency of Una district. Under the 4th phase of this project total 11 kilometers long area of Swan river from Daulatpur bridge to Gagret bridge will be channelized under the project besides channelization of all 73 tributaries of Swan from Daulatpur to Santokhgarh bridge.
Later, addressing a mammoth gathering at Kangar, Shri Virbhadra Singh congratulated the people of Una district on this historic day adding that this project was bound to bring sea change in their lives. With the channelization of Swan river and all its tributaries, the people would no more have to suffer the catastrophe of flooding Swan river and they would witness an era of prosperity and development with the production of food grains and vegetables along banks of river.
Chief Minister said giving utmost priority to this major project, the present State Government put sincere efforts with strong political willpower to get clearance for the project in a record nine months period from Government of India (GoI). The project would benefit a population of 2,35,834 of 165 village and 7163.40 hectare barren land would be reclaimed. In all 387.58 kilometers area would be channelized including 1200 kilometer watershed area.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that BJP was trying to take credit for this project but it was due to efforts of Congress Government that this ambitious project was implemented. The previous BJP Government inaugurated the half completed phase-2 of this project and laid the foundation stone of third phase without making budgetary provisions and sending detailed project report to the Government of India. The present State Government had given Rs. 100 crore as State share for the 4th phase of the project while detailed project report would be made for third phase and State Government would provide its share for it.
Chief Minister said that effective steps were being taken to check illegal mining in the State as it was affecting irrigation, water supply schemes and pillers of bridges besides environment. Those found guilty would be strictly dealt with and their trucks/ machines would be confiscated besides canceling their licenses. He appealed the people to cooperate in bringing such cases to the notice of the Government.
Reacting to the allegations being leveled by former Chief Minister Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal and his family members, he said that BJP had always believed in politics of revenge and making baseless and false charges. Frivolous cases were framed twice against him during BJP regime in which he came out clean. He said BJP leaders were raising questions on loan taken by his family which was ridiculous as he had not hided any thing and it was right of any body to take loan.
He announced to open Mini Secretariat at Haroli to facilitate the people of the area to get various services under one roof. He also announced to open
Superintending Engineer (IPH) office at Una which would also supervise the work on Swan river channelization project.
Irrigation and Public Health Minister Smt. Vidya Stokes said that it was a historic day for the people of Una district as the foundation stone was laid for the largest channelization project in the entire North India. She said that providing better irrigation and drinking water facility to the people of the State was priority of the Government. Almost 90 percent population of the State had been provided with tap water facility which was highest than any other State.
Smt. Stokes said that 499 irrigation schemes had been completed in the district covering 20,148 hectare land, whereas the work on 39 schemes at a cost of Rs. 78.64 crore was on progress which would facilitate 3568 hectare of agricultural land.
Industries Minister Shri Mukesh Agnihotri while thanking the Chief Minister for laying foundation stone of this ambitious project said that it was due to sincere efforts of Congress Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh that project got approved in a record time. He expressed gratitude towards the Chief Minister for according utmost priority for this project and taking the matter vigorously with the GoI. With the completion of this project, Swan river would no more remain as river of sorrows and it would ensure an era of prosperity to the lakhs of people who had been facing the curse of devastation of land due to heavy floods.
Industries Minister said that Indian Oil Depot was being opened at Una and possibilities were being explored for opening CSD canteen. He said that Bus Stand would be constructed again at Una which was neglected by the previous BJP Government. He said that IIIT was also being established in the district by spending Rs. 122 crore.
Shri Kuldeep Kumar, Chairman, Finance Commission, Shri Rakesh Kalia, MLA, Shri Onkar Sharma, Ex- Chairman, H.P. Agro Packaging Industries Corporation, Shri Virender Dharmani, President, District Congress Committee, Shri Ram Dass Malangar, Ex Deputy Speaker, Shri Satpal Raizada, Member, PCC also spoke on the occasion.
Haroli Block Congress President Shri Rajender Rana welcomed the Chief Minister.
Shri Prakash Chaudhary, Excise and Taxation Minister, Dr. Col. Dhani Ram Shandil, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Shri Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Shri Sanjay Rattan and Shri Rajender Rana, MLAs, Shri Ram Nath Sharma, Ex Deputy Speaker, Bawa Hardeep Singh, Chairman, H.P. Buildings and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, Shri Jagdish Sipahiya, Chairman, Kangra Central Cooperative Bank, Shri Mohan Mehta, Chairman, Jogindra Bank, Shri Ramesh Thakur, Chairman, APMC, Solan, Shri Shiv Kumar Saini, Chairman, APMC, Una, Shri Atul Sharma, Vice Chairman, HPSIDC, Major General Vikram Singh, Ex Chairman, Ex-Servicemen Welfare Corporation, Shri Ramesh Chauhan, Member, PCC, Shri Avtar Saini, brother of former Minister Shri Hari Narayan Saini, religious leader Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, Shri R.K Sharma, E-in-C (IPH), Shri Rajender Singh, Director, Information and Public Relations, Shri Abhishek Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Una, Shri Anupam Sharma, SP, other senior officers and prominent persons were present on the occasion.