Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal raised demand of the State for Special Grant of Rs. 62.42 crore on account of share of Punjab Government in Shahnehar Major Irrigation Project with the Planning Commission of India by writing a letter to Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Vice Chairman, Planning Commission of India today.

Chief Minister said that the share of Punjab in Shahnehar Project had been pending for the past four years which was being allotted by the Planning Commission of India to the Punjab Government but had not been transferred to the State of Himachal Pradesh. He said that the special grant of Rs. 62.42 crore was the remaining central assistance admissible to the State with effect from April 1, 2005 onwards.

He said that the current financial year, 2011-12, was the last year of 11th Plan and the project was also nearing completion and most likely to be ready for dedication to the farmers of the area during ongoing financial year. He said that the issue had also been raised during the Planning meeting held on March 2, 2012 but the allotment was still awaited. He said that State Government had been providing funds out of its own resources for completion of the Shahnehar Project and it would be in the best interest of the State and its people if one time special grant of Rs. 62.42 crore was released immediately.

Prof. Dhumal said that Shahnehar Project was one of the major irrigation projects under execution in the State which had taken sufficient time for completion due to paucity of funds. He said that keeping in view the escalation in construction material and labour charges, the project had exceeded the estimated cost. He said that it would be one time special grant major portion of pending liabilities would be cleared within current financial year and project completed in time so that it could benefit the farmers with irrigation facilities. He requested Dr. Ahluwalia for his personal intervention into the matter and releases the special grant during current financial year itself.