Kathua (J-K), Apr 10 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that the Shahpur-Kandi dam project will become functional by November 2022 and India will then be able to fully utilise the waters of the Ravi river in its territory.
The project is being constructed on the river, 11 kilometres downstream of the Ranjit Sagar Dam and eight kilometers upstream of Madhopur in Punjab's Pathankot district.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the Shahpur-Kandi Ravi canal, Singh said the 'Shahpur-Kandi Dam project will become functional by November 2022'.
'It will be a historic landmark as one of the major events marking the 75th year of India's independence,' he told PTI.
The project aims to fully utilise the water of the Ravi in India's territory, said Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.
He said that almost 63 per cent work of the main dam has been completed and, on its completion, the Shahpur-Kandi project will provide intensive irrigation facilities in around 32,000 hectares area falling in the districts of Kathua and Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and 5,000 hectares area in Pathankot district.
The project will hopefully start giving water to Jammu and Kashmir through the Ravi canal, the minister said.
It will also create potential for tourism and improve the socio-economic condition of the people in this region, said Singh, who represents Udhampur in Lok Sabha.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in December 2018 approved implementation of the Shahpur-Kandi dam project.
The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing of Indus waters.
According to the treaty, India got the full rights for utilisation of waters of the three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
'Some of the water of the river Ravi at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water,' the government had said in an official statement issued on the Cabinet’s decision then.
A bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir in January 1979.
As per the agreement, the construction of the Ranjit Sagar Dam (Thein Dam) and Shahpur-Kandi Dam was to be taken up by Punjab government. The Ranjit Sagar Dam was commissioned in August, 2000. PTI AKV AKV ANB ANB