NEW DELHI, May 13: On the request of Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, a high level meeting was held at the Jal Shakti Mantralaya to review the progress of work at Ujh Multipurpose (National) Project in Kathua region of Jammu & Kashmir. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr Jitendra Singh and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Among others, Union Secretary Jal Shakti Ministry also attended the meeting.
After several rounds of meetings in the last few years, Central Water Commission did a detailed techno-economic review of the project and the revised proposal was accepted in the 148th TAC meeting held in January, 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs. 11,907.77 crore. The expected timeline of completion of the project is about 6 years and once completed, the project will store around 781 Million Cubic meter of waters of river Ujh (a tributary of river Ravi).
After completion of the project, utilization of waters of Eastern Rivers allotted to India as per the Indus Water Treaty would be enhanced by utilizing the flow that presently goes across border to Pakistan.
In an earlier meeting chaired by Dr Jitendra Singh in Jammu in 2020, it was decided that an alternate Canal System or Command System will be planned and the DPR accordingly modified so that the surplus water not utilized by the parts of Kathua district should not inadvertently flow into Pakistan. He said, with the Shahpur-Kandi project having already taken off, when the Ujh-Multipurpose project also becomes functional, the entire Kandi belt in district Kathua and adjoining parts of district Samba will become fully irrigated and, in fact irrigation and power surplus.
Pertinent to mention that the Ujh-Multipurpose Project had been held up for several decades and was revived after intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since then, it was being constantly followed up by Dr Jitendra Singh and at his behest, several high level meetings were held since 2014 to remove the minor bottlenecks.
Dr Jitendra Singh also flagged the issue of Har Ghar Nal se Jal in Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency with Shekhawat. During the meeting, it was desired that Jal Jeevan Mission shall be implemented in Mission Mode for 100% piped water connection to the public by expediting the tendering process.