Jamshedpur, Aug. 3: Work on the ongoing Subarnareka Multi-Purpose Project (SMP) will be completed by 2018, Jharkhand minister for water resources, Chandraprakash Choudhury told reporters at a press conference here on Wednesday.
The minister admitted that the progress on the project was very sluggish and attributed this to lack of manpower. He, however, assured that all obstacles would be removed soon and at all costs the SMP will be completed by 2018.
According Choudhury, work on the Chandil dam of the project is nearly complete, while the issue of Icha dam is pending in the court. Meanwhile, the government is keen to resolve the problems faced by the villagers displaced by the long-running project, he said.
In reply to a question, the minister said that work on the Icha dam of SMP has been stalled owing to the issue of the displaced villagers as well as some political problems. “Whenever any large project is undertaken, it results in the displacement of a large number of people.
The same has been the case with the SMP. However, we are eager to solve the displacement issue and provide the affected families with due benefits and the benefits under various government schemes.”
Choudhury said that so far the Centre has allocated Rs. 1132 crore for the SMP. His department has asked for an additional Rs. 825 crore for the completion of the project. However, the state government has not received any funds for the project from the Centre in the current fiscal.
At the same time, the minister pointed out that there is no dearth of funds for the SMP. If required, the state government will complete the project with its own funds.
Choudhury further said that he has received complaints that a section of the contractors and department engineers are deliberately hampering the progress of the project. All such people will be dealt with severely, he added.
Replying to a question, Choudhury said that reports about 185 villages being submerged due to the Chandil and Icha dams are baseless. Much less villages will be affected, as the current water level at the Chandil dam is 179.10 meter and it will be raised to 185 meters.
The minister informed that work for 53 small, medium and large water projects in the state have been stalled. He said that the government wants to complete all these projects. The minister assured that work on all such projects will commence by 2019.