Amarinder revives dam project to curb water flow to Pakistan

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Pathankot (Punjab), March 8 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday revived the vital Shahpur Kandi Dam project that has the potential to curb the water flow of rivers to Pakistan.

Addressing a gathering here, he said the Rs 2,073-crore project, construction on which is all set to restart, would reduce water flowing into Pakistan drastically and help save the critical water resources of the state.

The project has been revived with the Chief Minister’s personal efforts in order to resolve all pending issues with the Jammu and Kashmir government.

Of the estimated cost, which is in addition to the Rs 640 crore already spent till 2014, Rs 1,408 crore would be spent on the power component, with 100 per cent share of the Punjab government, and Rs 685 crore on the irrigation component, with a share of Rs 485 crore to be contributed by the Central government and Rs 179.28 crore by the state.

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Announcing that the project would be completed within three years, the Chief Minister, said it would result in increased irrigation of 5,000 hectares across the state.

Apart from generating clean power, the project would also improve the irrigation potential of 1.18 lakh hectares of the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC), he added.

Power Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar said the water currently flowing to Pakistan would be utilised by farmers in Punjab.

The Shahpur Kandi Dam Project is being constructed on River Ravi, 11 km downstream of Ranjit Sagar Dam Project and 7 km upstream of Madhopur Head Works.

During February 2008, the Central government declared the Shahpur Kandi Dam a ‘National Project’, along with 13 other projects.

With the dam earlier proposed to be completed by July 2017, construction work was on in full swing, but owing to the intervention of the Jammu and Kashmir government, the work was stopped on August 30, 2014, under the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004.

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–IANS

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