MANALI: The banks of Beas river, which wreaks havoc with devastating floods during monsoon season every year and attracts tourists with its charm, would soon be channelized and beautified at a cost of Rs 585cr.
The plan is to channelize nearly 70km stretch of the river from Palchan village near Manali till Aut in Mandi district. The flooded Beas changes its course every year and has occupied hundreds of bigha of agriculture and forest land. The concrete walls would be built to control the river and protect its banks.
The project, which was estimated at Rs 1,300 crore, also includes beautification of the river for tourism purpose. Many viewpoints would be developed for tourists along the Chandigarh-Manali national highway.
“Rs 585cr have been sanctioned by Centre in the first stage. The work will start very soon,” Forest minister Govind Singh Thakur said. He added that the work would be executed in well planned manner. “A committee would be formed for this. We shall not compromise with quality. We are planning to develop some viewpoints near the river where tourists can enjoy charm of the Beas without putting lives in danger.”
Beas has caused damages worth crores of rupees to public and private properties. Many have lost lives and many tourists lured by Beas have also been drowned. Flood in Beas in September 2018 had damaged protection walls from Manali till Mandi and also damaged the highway at many places.
Kullu was most affected district in state where Beas destroyed everything that came on its way. The concrete walls will control its flow and also promote the safe tourism in Kullu.
After demand from public the project got principal approval from Himachal government. The project plan was initially drafted by Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune. The plan consists of protecting both the banks of river and control water flow.