Punjab dam in India ceases River Ravi water flow to Pakistan

| Updated: 26 February, 2024 3:42 pm IST
River Ravi water flow to Pakistan halted by Punjab dam in India.

NEW DELHI: The completion of the Shahpur Kandi Barrage on the River Ravi after 45 years has resulted in India halting water flow to Pakistan, marking a significant change in water allocation starting from February 25, according to media reports,

This action would be advantageous for the Jammu and Kashmir region in terms of agricultural use.

The construction of the Shahpur Kandi barrage, situated in Punjab’s Pathankot district, was delayed due to a domestic disagreement between Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Consequently, a significant portion of water, rightfully belonging to India, has been flowing into Pakistan for all these years.

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In 1979, the governments of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir agreed to build the Ranjit Sagar Dam and the Shahpur Kandi barrage downstream to halt water flow to Pakistan.

The agreement was endorsed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir at the time, and his Punjab counterpart, Parkash Singh Badal.

In 1982, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi initiated the groundwork for the project, with an anticipated completion date set for 1998.

While the construction of the Ranjit Sagar Dam was finalised in 2001, the Shahpur Kandi barrage did not materialise, resulting in water from the Ravi River continuing to flow into Pakistan.

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Paradoxically, the project faced another setback in 2014 due to conflicts between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Ultimately, in 2018, the central government intervened and facilitated an agreement between the two states. Subsequently, construction commenced shortly thereafter and has now been successfully concluded.

Jammu and Kashmir will additionally receive 20 per cent of the hydroelectric power generated by the dam.

The Shahpurkandi Dam, standing at a height of 55.5 metres, is a component of a comprehensive river valley project encompassing two hydroelectric power projects with a combined installed capacity of 206 MW. Situated on the Ravi river, it is constructed 11 kilometres downstream from the Ranjit Sagar Dam Project.

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In addition to benefiting Jammu and Kashmir, the waters from the dam will also serve Punjab and Rajasthan.

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