Guwahati, Friday, April 30, 2010
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Centre blames State for stalled Pagladiya project
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, April 29 – The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) has blamed the Assam Government for the stalled Pagladiya dam project, holding it responsible for not being able to complete the Zirat survey (property assessment) and land acquisition.

 The project is now planned to be relocated to an alternative site and the Brahmaputra Board has been tasked to identify the location.

Replying to an unstarred question by Ranee Narah, Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala said that the work on the Pagladiya dam project is delayed due to non-completion of the Zirat survey and land acquisition by the State Government. Efforts are on to sort out the issue in coordination with the Government of Assam and the Bodoland Territorial Council.

In a meeting held by the State Chief Secretary in October 2009, it was decided that the Brahmaputra Board should take up investigation for alternative project location near the Assam-Bhutan border in the face of the socio-political problem at the present dam site, Pala disclosed.

The Brahmaputra Board has initiated the investigation work at the alternative site, the minister said.

The Rs 542.90-crore project which has since witnessed manifold cost escalation, was sanctioned in January 2001. The project envisages construction of 26.20-metre and 23-km-long earth dam with a spillway across the Pagladiya river.

The project is meant for flood moderation projected to benefit 40,000 hectares, irrigating an area of 54,160 hectares and generation of 3 MW power.

Funds location to the project has been declining in the wake of the uncertainty. In 2007-2008 Rs 1 crore was earmarked in the Ministry’s Budget for the Project, it has been slashed down to Rs 50 lakh.

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