Days before its annual Indus Water Commission meeting with Pakistan+ in Lahore, India has stepped up its efforts of building adequate infrastructure to utilise its legitimate share of waters on eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) of the Indus system. Two of its states – Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab – on Friday reached an agreement to resume works on ambitious Shahpur Kandi Dam project.
The 55.5-metre 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 J&K, besides generation of 206 MW power.
The construction of Shahpur Kandi project was taken up in May 1999 but later halted in 2014 due to dispute between Punjab and J&K.
The move to resume work will give a boost to the country’s strategy to utilise its entire share of waters under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).
Though India had decided not to engage with Pakistan through the Indus Water Commission after the Uri terror attack+ last year, it has recently decided to resume the dialogue through the Commission whose next meeting will be held in Lahore later this month. The Commission is a mechanism to resolve any dispute between the two countries over sharing of waters of the Indus river system under the Indus Water Treaty.