A proposal to construct the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project on Punjab’s Ravi river was approved by the Union Cabinet today, reports The Tribune. The dam will create thousands of hectares of irrigation potential in Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced, “The project was cleared by the Union Cabinet, which will minimise some of the water of the Ravi, currently going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan.”
He said that the central government would provide Rs 485.38 crore in assistance to the Punjab government for the project’s completion over a five year period.
Jaitley added that irrigation potential of about 5,000 hectares in Punjab, and another 32,173 hectares in Jammu & Kashmir, will be created by the dam. The centre will fund the project through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Construction of dams on the rivers of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir has been a contentious issue between India and Pakistan, with the latter asserting that in some cases the diversion of river water violates the Indus Water Treaty.
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