Veteran Bhartiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani today laid foundation stone of Narmada-Kshipra River linking project at a village Ujjaiyini of Ujjain district.
He said the project would not only quench thirst of arid Malwa region but would make the destination a prominent place for Hindu pilgrimage. He also said the river linking project was launched by veteran leader of BJP and then prime minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee. Advani said, the river linking projects was aimed at saving dying rivers, make potable water availability and create additional facility.
He lauded efforts of state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, Chouhan said, “Narmada and Kshipra rivers bear religious importance too and I will make all possible efforts to create tourism network and necessary infrastructure at the project site to make it a place of importance for religious tourism.”
Earlier, the project was conceptualised as a major project with an estimated cost of Rs 432 crore but later the cost calculation has been revised downwards at Rs 350 crore against earlier Rs 7,050 crore (2002 price level).
A southern India based private firm has been awarded the work of the project which involves lifting of Narmada waters from Omkareshwar reservoir at 5 cumec (cubic million per second) from Omkareshwar
reservoir (58 Km away from Ujjaiyini) to Sisaliya pond in the Ujjaiyini village.
The company will use lift pumps to channelise it to origin of Kshipra river, which will work as natural canal for the project. The project will also supply water to Ujjain and Dewas town besides 70 small towns and 150 villages. Later nearly 3,000 villages will be benefitted with this project.
Speaking on the occasion, Chouhan said, "At a later stage Parvati, Kalisindh and Gambheer rivers will also be connected to the project. The Narmada-Kshipra River linking project will be completed in one year while, other rivers will be interlinked within five years."
Earlier also the state government floated global tender but there were no takers to lift 3 million acre feet of waters from Indira Sagar reservoir.
It will not only ease financial strain on the government’s kitty but also be completed in shorter period of one year,” said a government source adding, “barely 70 hectare of land is to be required for the pipeline and other works unlike earlier project which required thousands of acres of land acquisition. The project will cater to the drinking water needs of 70 towns including Ujjain and Dewas towns and 150 villages of both the districts.”
This project will also be a part of 1979 Narmada Water dispute Award under which Madhya Pradesh had been awarded 18 MAF water and has been mandated to use 5 MAF water for drinking and industrial use by 2024.
This project will lift water at 10 cumec in five years and will create irrigation facility for 17 lakh acres of land.
The Ujjain town is facing sever water crisis for the past few years where local municipal corporation is supplying water at regular interval of 7 days. While Dewas town and its industrial area are dependent upon water transported through railways. A private water supply project in Dewas was created two years back but it could not serve the purpose.