New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called on Union Water Resources Minister, Harish Chandra Rawat at New Delhi today and asked him to sanction various pending irrigation schemes of the State. Union Minister assured the Chief Minister for early approval to the 39 small irrigation schemes worth Rs. 84 crore.

The Chief Minister also asked the Union Minister to intervene in the matter of pending payment of Rs. 62.42 crore to Himachal Pradesh by Punjab Government in lieu of construction of Shahnehar project. He apprised that the Planning Commission had principally approved to provide this fund as one time special grant in the Annual Plan of the State in the year 2012-13.

Virbhadra Singh said that the approval for pending irrigation schemes was delayed due to technical reasons since one year. He also urged the Union Minister for special relaxation in the determined amended criteria of these schemes in the interests of people of the State. He also demanded funding for these schemes at 75:25 ratio.

Chief Minister thanked the Union Government for Rs.1992 crore Swan river channelization project and urged for approving Rs. 48.83 crore Swan River Flood Management Project. The detail project report of this project is pending with Punjab Government for NOC. This project will also benefit the people of the Punjab.

Virbhadra Singh requested for releasing Rs. 129.17 crore under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme for construction of five large and small irrigation schemes. Rawat assured the Chief Minister to consider the demands of the State Government and lauded the State Government for various developmental schemes which were being implemented in the State.

Industries and Information and Public Relations Minister Mukesh Agnihotri thanked the Union Government for giving approval for these schemes and said that these schemes would be very beneficial for the people of the State and especially the people of Una district.