The Indian government has decided to fast-track three projects, including construction of two dams, to arrest the unutilised water of its share under the bilateral Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan. The three projects include the Shahpur Kandi dam project, Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab and the Ujh Dam project in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency PTI quoted government officials as saying.
“These (three) projects were stuck in red tape and inter-state disputes. But it has been decided to expedite the execution of these projects,” one of them added.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, waters flowing in three of Indus tributaries — the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — have been allotted to India; while the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan.
The Indus Waters Treaty is a water distribution pact between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank to use the water available in the Indus System of rivers located in Jammu and Kashmir. The treaty was signed in 1960 by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistani President Ayub Khan.
Of the total 168 million acre-feet, India’s share of water from the three allotted rivers is 33 million acre-feet, which constitutes nearly 20 per cent.
“India uses nearly 93-94 per cent of its share under the Indus Waters Treaty. The rest of the water remains unutilised and goes to Pakistan,” an official added.
The Ujh dam, over the river Ravi in the Kathua district, is a proposed hydroelectricity and irrigation multipurpose project with a capacity to generate 196 MW of electricity. The total water utilisation from this project is 172.8 million cusec metre, but it has the capacity to store 925 mcm of water, the officials said. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,950 crore.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has forwarded the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Centre for its appraisal, which is expected to be approved by the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources for clearance, they said.
(With PTI inputs)