Ranchi, June 27: State government today informed Jharkhand High Court that a barrage would be constructed on Kanhar river in Garhwa, thus putting an end to the speculation of construction of a dam, which was pending for more than three decades.
The matter was brought before the high court in a public interest litigation filed by former health minister Hemendra Pratap Dehati.
Advocate-general A.K. Sinha informed the division bench of the high court, comprising acting chief justice Prakash Tatia and Justice P.P. Bhatt, that the Chhattisgarh government had backed out of the proposal of construction of a dam. In absence of approval from Chhattisgarh, only a barrage can now be built on the river to facilitate irrigation in Garhwa and neighbouring areas, Sinha said.
The bench directed the state to inform how long it would take for construction of the proposed barrage to which Sinha said that a consultant had to be appointed first. The consultant will survey the area and prepare a project report. The entire process is expected to take about two months time, Sinha said.
Sinha said that the chief minister had given his consent to the construction of a barrage and the proposal was due to be tabled before the cabinet soon. Water resources department principal secretary S.K. Satpathy appeared in person before the high court and confirmed the developments.
The case will again be taken up on August 29.
The high court while hearing the case observed that the erstwhile Bihar government and the Jharkhand government after bifurcation of the state had both neglected the project for a long time. Crores of rupees have been spent in funding the project with no result. A decision for construction of a barrage instead of a dam has consumed almost 36 years, the bench said.