Early Times Report
Kathua, Aug 20: Farmers in the region here say they are keenly awaiting the completion of Shahpurkandi Project on Ravi River as the as the dam is set to bring more water to their agriculture fields here. Sarpanch of Basantpur, Raghubir Singh told news agency, "This dam will take water to Samba and Kathua, which will be a great relief to the people. Also, many people are unemployed here and waiting for the government to implement its promise to bring employment from this project."
A local resident, Raghunandan Singh told news agency, "This project was pending from last 40 years. The project brings a lot of benefits to the people of Jammu and not to the Kashmir. In Jammu and Kashmir, only those laws are passed easily which is in favour of Kashmir that's why this project was halted for long."
He said, "This project became possible only because of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our MP Dr Jitender Singh. They cleared the dispute between the governments of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and initiated the paperwork." "None of the MLAs was concerned about the project. Even our leader Mehbooba Mufti didn't bother and declined to sign the papers multiple times because it was not beneficial to Kashmir," he added.
Chief Engineer of Dam project Punjab, SK Saluja, told news agency , "The construction of the dam will cost Rs. 27,000 crore and will be completed by 2022. The construction has already started in Punjab and soon it will start in Jammu and Kashmir too."
"The project will serve 1150 cusecs of water to Kathua and samba district and will change the scenario of Kandi belt area with irrigation and drinking water both," he added. Last year on December 7, The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister had approved the implementation of the Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi. It is believed that implementation of this project would help to minimise some of the water of river Ravi, which, at present, is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan. Furthermore, on completion of the project, an irrigation potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab and 32,173 ha in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be created.