The Delhi Cabinet on Wednesday approved an inter-departmental committee’s report on an ambitious project to store water in the Yamuna floodplains. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal thanked Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for the Centre’s quick approval and support for the project.
The project aims at conserving water in the Yamuna floodplains and creating a mega reservoir between Palla and Wazirabad to deal with the water shortage in the city, particularly during the summer months.
Under the project, small ponds will be created to catch water from an overflowing Yamuna during this monsoon season. According to the committee’s report, the government will pay Rs 77,000 per acre to farmers willing to lease their land for the project.
In a statement, the Delhi government said, “It was not possible for such an ambitious and huge project to take off without the personal constant monitoring of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”
The chief minister had given one month’s time to the irrigation and flood department to make preparations for the project. Kejriwal had earlier said the project has the “potential” for ending Delhi’s water shortage.
Kejriwal, who has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanked Shekhawat for the Centre’s quick approval. “Soon after the cabinet meeting, chief minister called up Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He thanked him for the quick approvals by the Centre for the project.
“The chief minister also thanked him for the full cooperation Delhi received from Centre for the pilot project,” the statement said.
It added that most of the approvals have been received for the pilot project, barring two from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) committees, which are expected very soon. Last month, Kejriwal had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought the Centre’s cooperation to develop the national capital.
In the past, Kejriwal and his party leaders have accused the Modi government of creating hurdles in the functioning of the Delhi government. The statement said this project makes it clear that chief minister thinks way ahead of others and has the vision to implement best practices from across the globe for the development of the city.