Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on 3 March 2017 agreed to resume works on Shahpur Kandi Dam project in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The agreement was reached ahead of the annual Indus Water Commission meeting that will be held in Lahore, Pakistan.
The 55.5meter high Shahpur Kandi dam will help in providing irrigation facility to 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32173 hectares in J&K besides generation of 206 MW power.
The agreement was reached due to the meditation efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejunvenation. The Ministry of Water Resources persuaded the two states so that the country can use its rights on Eastern Rivers of Indus basin in a successful manner.
About Shahpur Kandi Dam project
• The construction of Shahpur Kandi project was taken up in May 1999.
• Later in 2014, the work on the project was halted in 2014 due to dispute between Punjab and J&K.
• The project was supposed to be built with an estimated cost of Rs 2285.81 crore (price level of April 2008).
• It was a part of the Scheme of National Projects by Union Government.
• The estimated cost included central assistance @ 90 per cent of the balance cost of works component of irrigation and water supply.
• The project will 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 at least once in three months to ensure that the construction is as per the agreement.
• The design of the project will be the same, which was agreed between the two states. However, the concurrently model studies will be done to ensure that the mandated share of 1150 cusecs of water is available to Jammu and Kashmir, which will be binding on both the States.
• On the other hand, the balance costs of compensation for land acquisition of the Thein Dam will be paid by the government of Punjab, as agreed earlier.
• In addition, jobs to the oustees would be given by the Government of Punjab as per the agreed R&R policy of both the State Governments.
• 20 per cent of the total power generated at the Thein Dam will be shared with Jammu and Kashmir by the Punjab government, as agreed earlier. This share will be provided at the mutually agreed rate of Rs 3.50 per unit, subject to the confirmation of the rates by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.
• Punjab would be providing 20% share in the total power generated at the Thein Dam at the mutually agreed rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit to J&K.
Besides, issues related to the project will be referred to the Arbitration mechanism provided in the agreement signed between two states in 1979. The case will be solved by mechanism process 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.