Una, Apr 13 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today laid the foundation of the Rs 235.52 crore Swan River Channelisation Phase-II project at Gagret in Una district of the state.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the second phase of the Swan River Management and Integrated Land Development Project was likely to cost Rs. 235.52 crore and the river between Gagret Bridge and Jhalera bridge would be treated and channelised to protect the fertile land from erosion during rainy season.
Mr Dhumal said about 5000 hectares of land would be reclaimed for agriculture, horticulture and allied farming activities.
Since the project had already been cleared by the Central Water Commission and Union Ministry for Environment and Forestry, the second phase of the construction work would begin soon, he said.
He said the first phase of the Swan River Channelisation had been completed by spending Rs. 66.50 crore, benefiting large number of people inhabiting the banks of river.
The successful execution of the first phase had helped in reclaiming 1,955 hectare of land, which was now being used for agricultural purposes, up to March, this year, he added.
He said the entire 2,260 hectare of land would be recovered by June, later this year.
Observing that the government was committed for the good of the greatest number, he said the Swan River, called as the ''River of Sorrow'' had been converted into the ''River of Happiness and Prosperity,'' with huge quantities of seasonal vegetables being grown in the reclaimed land.
This had provided additional income to the people of the area as huge quantity of vegetables were being marketed outside the district, he said.
The Chief Minister directed the executing department to complete the channelisation work well before the scheduled date and help the people in reclaiming their land and said adequate funds would be provided for the completion of the project.
State Irrigation and Public Health Minister Ravinder S Ravi, who was also present on the occasion, said the project would be executed on war footing and completed before the stipulated period.
MLAs Virender Kanwar, Satpal Singh Satti and Balbir Singh, former legislator Praveen Sharma, senior BJP leaders and officials were also present on the occasion.
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