Flow of Ravi water to Pak fully stopped, 32000 hac J&K land to be irrigated

Shahpur Kandi dam on Ravi river near Lakhanpur.
Shahpur Kandi dam on Ravi river near Lakhanpur.

Shahpur Kandi dam pondage process begins
After 40 yrs, project is ready with Modi’s efforts: Dr Jitendra
Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Feb 23: The flow of river Ravi water to Pakistan has been fully stopped with the completion of Shahpur Kandi barrage (dam), bordering Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. With this, 1150 cusecs of water share of J&K will now irrigate over 32000 hectare land of the Kathua and Samba districts of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources said that this prestigious Irrigation and Hydel Power Generation Project faced many wrangles and is very closer to its completion after three decades. With the completion of barrage work, the process of pondage at Shahpur began hardly two days ago. With this, the Indian authorities as per Indus Water Treaty, will make maximum use of Ravi river and the water which was earlier use to flow towards Pakistan from old Lakhanpur dam, raised to divert river water to Madhopur Canal, will now be used in J&K and Punjab.
Sources further said that the then Prime Minister of India, PV Narsimha Rao had laid foundation stone of Shapurkandi Barrage Project in 1995. This project faced many hurdles from very beginning, due to the dispute between the Governments of J&K and Punjab. The work also remained suspended on the project for many years and finally with the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union MoS in the PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, the work could be finally resumed in 2018 after the suspension of over four and half years.
“This multipurpose project worth Rs 3300 crores (Revised cost) would not only provide 1150 cusecs of irrigation water to the J&K and over 5000 cusecs of water to Punjab state, but also generate about 206 MW of electricity besides attracting tourists to the site. Punjab state would be the major beneficiary of the power generated from this project,” the sources added.
Commenting, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh said the project was stopped by previous successive Governments in Jammu and Kashmir purely due to political considerations as it had to benefit Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu region.
“In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about Shahpur Kandi project and its benefits. He set up high level committee under the chairmanship of PM’s then Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra. Even former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tried to sabotage the project by raising the demand of Rs 600 crore compensation from Punjab Government,” Dr Jitendra Singh recalled but said it was because of Narendra Modi’s efforts and his initiative that the project was revived after 40 years following imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir and was given the status of national project leading to its expeditious completion.
Executive Engineer, RTIC Kathua, Ajit Kumar when contacted said that pondage process has been started and the water from Ranjeet Sagar Dam is being released for Shahpur Kandi barrage in a systematic manner. The required height of Shapur Kandi dam will be attained within 90 days, he informed.
Responding to a question, Kumar said the project cost was revised several times. Earlier, the project cost was Rs 2793 crores but the revised cost of the project is now Rs 3300 crores. This project cost also includes the construction of hydel power project with the generation capacity of 206 MW. The Power House is being constructed about 3 kms from Shapurkandi and Punjab State is the major beneficiary of the electricity generated there while J&K will have no share out of it as per agreement.
On being asked about the Ravi river water share of J&K and Punjab, the Executive Engineer said J&K will get maximum 1150 cusecs of water while Punjab state will have 5000 cusecs of Ravi water. He said the design capacity of Ravi- Tawi canal is 1350 cusecs and Punjab authorities will release water as per demand projected from our side. However, we can demand maximum of 1150 cusecs of water. About 32,000 hec land of Kandi belt of Kathua and Samba, about 82 kms in length up to Ramgarh sub division will be irrigated besides other areas of Kathua, Rajbagh, Sanji Morh, Mareen, Hiranagar, Rajpura, Samba, Vijaypur and Ramgarh etc. It will provide a major relief to the farmers of this belt, he added.
Kumar further disclosed that about one and half month’s work on 1378 mts portion of canal from Shahpur Kandi barrage up to J&K’s intake point is pending. He said work on nearly 20 mts bridge is going on near village Kulyarh in Lakhanpur while head regulators, as a part of mechanical work, on the canal on J&K side is awaited. He said within maximum 45 days, entire pending work will be completed, well before attaining required water level in the barrage.
Responding to another question, Kumar said as per inputs, it is expected that Shahpur Kandi Power House will start generating electricity by the end of next year. He said the actual work on the project was started in 2018 after the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who named it as the Project of National Importance. Ranjit Sagar Dam which is about 11 km upstream of this project, is already generating over 600 MW of power and 206 MW will be additional benefit from river Ravi with Shahpur Kandi project, the Xen added.