Updated February 24th, 2024 at 23:31 IST

India Stops Flow of Ravi water to Pakistan to Irrigate Land in J&K and Supply Electricity to Punjab

The work on the project was suspended due to domestic disputes for several years until PM Modi and Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh intervened.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Shahpurkandi Barrage. | Image:X

New Delhi: India has halted flow of water from the Ravi River into Pakistan following the culmination of construction of the Shahpur Kandi barrage, which is located on the border between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, claimed media reports on Saturday. This development means that now, instead of flowing into Pakistan, 1150 cusecs of Ravi water will now be directed towards irrigating more than 32,000 hectares of land in the Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Official sources report that this Irrigation and Hydel Power Generation Project has faced numerous challenges over the past thirty years. However, with the completion of the barrage, the process of water retention at Shahpur has already been commenced. According to the Indus Water Treaty, India will now utilise the maximum amount of water from the Ravi River. Previously, water that flowed from the old Lakhanpur dam towards Pakistan will now be utilised within the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.


Shahpur Kandi Barrage Project: How Modi Broke Political Deadlock to Ensure Benefits for Punjab and J&K

The foundation stone for the Shahpur Kandi Barrage Project was laid by former Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao, in 1995. However, the project saw many obstacles from the very start due to domestic disputes between the governments of J&K and Punjab. The work on the project was suspended for several years until Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, intervened, leading to its resumption in 2018 after a hiatus of over four and a half years.


"This multipurpose project, valued at Rs 3300 crores, will not only provide irrigation water to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab but will also generate approximately 206 MW of electricity and attract tourists to the site," stated official sources to a local media portal. Reports add that the electricity generated from this project will primarily benefit Punjab.

Dr Jitendra Singh following the project's completion stated that previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir had stopped the project due to political inclinations, despite its potential benefits to the Samba and Kathua districts of the Jammu region. However, the union minister added that PM Modi's efforts led to the revival of the project after 40 years, with its designation as a national project.


Shahpur Kandi Power House: Electricity for Punjab, Water for J&K

An English daily citing Ajit Kumar, Executive Engineer, RTIC Kathua, confirmed that the process of water retention has been initiated, with water from the Ranjeet Sagar Dam being released for the Shahpur Kandi barrage. He anticipates that the required height of the dam will be achieved within 90 days, reports added.


The project cost has been revised multiple times, now standing at Rs 3300 crores, inclusive of the construction of a 206 MW hydel power project. While Punjab will benefit from the electricity generated, Jammu and Kashmir will receive 1150 cusecs of water from the Ravi River.

The completion of the Shahpur Kandi Power House is expected to occur by the end of the following year. Interestingly, the PM had also designated it as a Project of National Importance back in 2018. The project will further harness the potential of the Ravi River, supplementing the power generated by the Ranjit Sagar Dam upstream.


Published February 24th, 2024 at 23:31 IST