Chandigarh: The Centre has persuaded Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to resume work on the stalled Shahpur Kandi dam project, which comes under the Indus Water Treaty, thus helping India utilise its rights on eastern rivers of the basin. The work on the hydroelectricity project,
which was stalled after a dispute
between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir over its design, will ‘resume soon,’ an official statement said.
Welcoming the development, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stated that Punjab has always stood for equitable distribution of water resources between the riparian states and he looked forward to receiving the formal approval of Jammu & Kashmir government soon.
Punjab’s Secretary, Irrigation, K S Pannu and his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart Saurabh Bhagat had signed the pact in this regard in the presence of Union Water Resources, Secretary Amarjit Singh here last evening. The two states reached the understanding
even as the Permanent Indus Commission is expected to meet later this month to discuss various issues related to the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).
India had last year decided to suspend talks with Pakistan over the treaty in the wake of Uri terror attack. The NDA government at the Centre had also decided to exercise India’s rights under the treaty by increasing use of the basin river waters. India has under-utilised its share of the river water until now.
“It was unanimously agreed that the work on the Shahpur Kandi dam would resume soon after both the governments of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir formally approve the agreed decisions,” the statement said. A Water Resources Ministry official said the respective state governments will have to ratify the agreement for the project work to resume. “We hope it happens soon,” he said.
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