The Centre on Thursday approved the implementation of the Shahpurkandi Dam projecton the Ravi in Punjab. The move will benefit India by allowing it to use the water which at present goes “waste” flowing through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan.
Though the project was planned 17 years ago and was initially approved by the Planning Commission in November, 2001, it is expected to be completed in June 2022. The revised cost of the project was approved by the advisory committee of the ministry in August, 2009. Though the central assistance of Rs 26 crore was released during period 2009-11, the work could not progress much due to non-availability of funds from the Punjab government and also due to inter-state issues with J&K.
It will create an additional irrigation potential of 5,000 hectares in Punjab and 32,173 hectares in Jammu & Kashmir. Also, it will enable Punjab to generate 206 MW of hydro-power.
The estimated cost is over Rs 2,285 crore. The Centre will provide financial assistance of over Rs 485 crore (for irrigation component) to the state for implementing the project over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
Union Cabinet took this decision keeping in view the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan. The treaty was ratified in 1960. It grants India full rights for utilisation of waters of the three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.