New Delhi: In a major step towards utilization of India’s rights on Eastern rivers of Indus basin, the mediation efforts of Ministry of Water Resources, RD and GR persuaded the States of Jammu and Kashmir (JK) and Punjab to reach an agreement to resume the works on Shahpur Kandi Dam project in Pujab/ JK. The agreement to this effect was signed by irrigation secretaries of Punjab and JK in the presence of Union Water Resources Secretary Dr.Amarjit singh in New Delhi on Friday.
The project was being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 2285.81 crore (April, 2008 price level) and is included in the Scheme of National Projects of Union Government. Under the scheme, MoWR,RD and GR provides central assistance at 90% of the balance cost of works component of irrigation and water supply.
The construction of Shahpur Kandi project was taken up in May 1999 but later halted in 2014 due to dispute between Punjab and JK. The Ministry of WR,RD and GR had been making all out efforts to resolve the issues and resume construction which resulted in yesterday’s agreement. The design of the project shall be as already agreed by both the states while concurrently model studies will be done to ensure that the mandated share of 1150 cusecs of water is available to the State of JK, which will be binding on both the States.
The project will continue to be implemented by the Government of Punjab. However, there will be a tripartite team headed by Member, CWC and consisting of Chief Engineers of two States to monitor the project as and when required but atleast once in three months to ensure that the construction is as per the agreement. The balance costs on account of compensation for land acquisition in respect of Thein Dam, as per the agreement would be paid for by the Government of Punjab promptly. In addition, jobs to the oustees would be given by the State Government of Punjab as per the agreed R and R policy of both the State Governments.
The Government of Punjab would be making available to the government of JK 20% share in the total power generated at the Thein Dam at the mutually agreed rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit immediately, subject to the confirmation of the rates by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Both the States agreed that other issues will be referred to Arbitration mechanism provided in the agreement signed between two states of 1979 without affecting the progress of work. It was unanimously agreed that the work on the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project would resume as soon both the State Governments formally approve the agreed decisions.
The 55.5 high Shahpur Kandi dam, located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, will help in providing irrigation facility to 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32173 hectares in JK besides generation of 206 MW power.