Shahpur-Kandi dam to be functional in 3 yrs: Jitendra

The Shahpur-Kandi dam project on the Ravi river, which was stuck for over four decades now, will be functional by 2022, most likely in the first half of the year, Union minister Jitendra Singh said Saturday.

He said the dam will prove to be a game changer, particularly for the border districts of Kathua (in Jammu & Kashmir) and Gurdaspur (in Punjab).

Briefing the media after his visit to the site in Kathua where the construction work is underway, he said the project was held up for over forty years and was revived after the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said the Centre prepared fresh documents which were signed by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik and the work on the project started in November 2018.

Singh, the Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, also said the project will help arrest the flow of Indian share of water under the Indus Water Treaty into Pakistan.

During his visit, Singh was accompanied by the project’s chief engineer and government representatives from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh said the project would cost around Rs 2,800 crore and upon completion, it would help irrigate about 5,000 hectare of land in Punjab and 32,173 hectare in Kathua and Samba areas of J&K.

The power generated from the project will also benefit the border districts of both Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir, he added.

Referring to the Ujh Multipurpose Project, Singh said, it was also revived by the Modi government after nearly half a century.

But the execution of work got delayed because it has been planned to set up a simultaneous canal system so that the surplus water from the dam could be made to flow through the canal into neighbouring Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, rather than flowing into Pakistan.

The construction of Shahpur Kandi project, located in Punjab’s Gurdaspur, was taken up in May 1999. It, however, was discontinued in 2014 following dispute between the two states.