BJP walks out over delay in irrigation project reports

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and other BJP MLAs stage a walkout in Shimla on Thursday
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and other BJP MLAs stage a walkout in Shimla.

Miffed BJP legislators staged a walkout in the Assembly today as the reply, furnished by the state government about the preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) for irrigation schemes, failed to satisfy the Opposition.

Tempers ran high while Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur was replying to a query raised by BJP MLA Ravinder Singh Ravi during Question Hour. Ravi had sought details on the total number of DPRs prepared and sent to the Centre for funding under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) and the area they would cover.

Thakur said he held detailed talks with both Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) as well as Agriculture Department officials on the issue. “DPRs of seven schemes under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme, 118 minor schemes under Har Khet Ko Pani and six under the Command Area Development Water Management have been prepared and sent to the Centre,” he said.

He added that till February 15, 2017, surveys of 1,857schemes which would cover 1,86 lakh hectares had been completed. The Opposition members, including Maheshwar Singh and Mahender Singh, insisted that the delay in grant of Central funding was due to the fact that either the DPRs had not been sent or some formalities were yet to be completed.

“The reply by the minister about the Rs 390.850 crore scheme from Prini Nullah to Bijli Mahadev in Kullu was contradictory. He was claiming that the DPR sent to the Centre but in the next line he admitted that since the approval of the State Technical Advisory Committee was a must, it would be obtained and sent again,” said Maheshwar.

The BJP MLAs were on their toes as the minister stuck to his stand that delay was on the part of the Centre and not the fault of the state government. As the Speaker insisted that the next question be taken up, the BJP members left the House, staging a walk out.

Story: The Tribune

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