Utilizing water of rivers


Construction of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project for which agreement was signed between Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on January 20, 1979 and whose fate is hanging in balance during the past over three decades, came under discussion in a review meeting of prestigious and strategic projects held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister on July 3, 2017. Following the intervention of Prime Minister's Office aimed at ensuring that every drop of water flowing through eastern river system is optimally utilized as per the provisions of Indus Water Treaty, the State Government has initiated steps towards ratification of the agreement relating to Shahpur Kandi Dam Project and execution of UjhMulti-Purpose Project. The decisions in this regard were taken in a Cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at Civil Secretariat Srinagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not satisfied with the utilization of water of rivers which are covered under Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan and his priority is to ensure that all the hurdles are removed so that country obtains optimum benefit of potential. He has assigned the task of holding deliberations on this aspect to certain bureaucrats in his office so that practical shape is given to the prestigious and strategic projects.
A memorandum was prepared by the Department of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control and the same was cleared by the Cabinet yesterday by according sanction for the ratification of agreement signed between Irrigation Secretaries of J&K and Punjab to spell out modalities for implementation of original agreement signed by both the States in January 1979. Highlighting the benefits of ratification of the agreement dated March 3, 2017 signed in the presence of Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, sources said that Punjab will immediately release the balance cost of land compensation and other allied items which is approximately more than Rs 115 crore. Apart from this, 861 affected persons will be provided employment in the construction of dam. Over one lakh acres of Kandi area of Samba and Kathua districts falling in the command of Ravi Canal will get irrigation facility, sources said while disclosing that Punjab Government has already agreed to supply the power at the rate of Rs 3.50 per unit subject to the approval of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) as soon as the work is resumed.
After resumption of work of Shahpur Kandi Dam, J&K will start getting 20% of the power generated from Ranjit Sagar Dam and another 20% from the Shahpur Kandi power plant after its completion and commissioning. Moreover, J&K will save Rs 14 crore annually on account of power and operational and maintenance charges being paid for lift stations at Basantpur and Lakhanpur. The maximum height of the dam will be 110 meters and if required the height will be reduced further to ensure minimum displacement/dislocation of the inhabitants as far as possible.

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