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Started in 1982, SMP project to become operational by 2017

SMP) project, work on which started in 1982 to irrigate agricultural land in Odisha & Jharkhand & to reduce damage caused by floods in WB & Odisha, will become operational by 2017.

PTI|
Updated: Jun 22, 2014, 11.15 AM IST
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JAMSHEDPUR: The Swarnarekha Multi-Purpose (SMP) project, work on which started in 1982 to irrigate vast stretch of agricultural land in Odisha and Jharkhand and to reduce damage caused by floods in West Bengal and Odisha, will become operational by 2017.

"We are expecting the SMP project to be complete by 2016 but in case of any delay, we will make it operational by 2017 at any cost," said K Srinivasan, Administrator of SMP.

Expressing satisfaction over the work progress of the project, Srinivasan, a senior IAS officer told PTI today that currently the focus was on the construction of Icha dam in West Singhbhum district.

Of the two dams originally envisaged under the project, Chandil Dam on river Swarnarekha in Saraikela-Kharswan district has already been completed while the construction of Icha dam is underway.

Elaborating further, Srinivasan said the construction of Icha dam would help to divert the flow of river Kharkhi to adjoining Odisha, which is one of the party to the tri-partite agreement for the project, besides West Bengal and Jharkhand.

Besides the construction of the dam, SMP had also envisaged developing two barrages--Kharkhai and Galudih, which were near completion stage, he said.

Asked about the number of villages to be affected by the Icha dam, Srinivasan said we have ensured that minimum displacement should be caused due to the project and planned accordingly.

Srinivasan said over 2.5 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated in the three districts of East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharswan of Jharkhand following the completion of the SMP, which was being developed by the Union government and the three states of eastern India.

Asked about the project outlay, SMP Administrator said 10 per cent of the total outlay was to be borne by the Jharkhand government while 90 per cent of it contributed by the Union Government.

As per the 2010 price index, Srinivasan said the cost of the project was estimated at Rs 6,600 crore with Rs 3,500 crore already been invested.

However, the cost of the project was likely to be escalated by 20 per cent by the time it would become operational, he claimed.
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