The Government of India on Friday approved the implementation of the Shahpurkandi Dam project on the river Ravi in Punjab and the move will cut water flow to Pakistan, reported the Times of India.
“Once completed in June 2022, it will improve irrigation potential of farmers in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab,” the TOI report said.
The move will allow India to use the water which at present goes ‘waste’ flowing through the Madhopur Head works downstream to Pakistan.
The report said though the project was planned 17 years ago at an estimated cost of over Rs 2,285 crore, it could not be implemented due to paucity of funds with the state.
The Government of India 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, it said.
The decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet, keeping in view the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan.
Under this 1960 treaty, India has full rights for utilisation of waters of the three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
The project, it said, will create an additional irrigation potential of 5,000 hectares in Punjab and 32,173 hectares in Jammu & Kashmir. In addition, Punjab will also be able to generate 206 MW of hydro-power, it added.
Recently, Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kishanganga hydropower plant during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan decided to raise concerns over the development with the World Bank. Pakistan believes that the dam violates the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.