India speeds up ₹8,743 cr dams, hydro projects
India has decided to fast-track three projects, including construction of two dams and a hydro power project under the bilateral Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, said official sources, claiming that three projects include the Shahpur Kandi dam project, a second Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab and the Ujh Dam in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a hydroelectricity and irrigation multipurpose project in the Kathua district of Jammu region over the Ravi River with a capacity to generate 196 MW of electricity. The total water utilization from this project is 172.8 million cusec metre (mc), but it has the capacity to store 925 mcm of water. The estimated combined cost of the project is ₹5,950 crore. The Centre has also asked the Punjab Government to prepare a feasibility report of the second Ravi-Beas link, which is expected to further help in increasing utilization of India's share of water under the treaty. The Punjab Government has submitted a revised cost estimate of ₹2,793.54 crore and requested the Centre to include the project in the prioritized list of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) projects ensuring smooth execution of the mega project. When implemented, the projects will enable the up-stream Ranjit Sagar Dam project power station to act as a peaking station, besides having its own generation capacity of 206 MW and will also ensure irrigation benefits of 37,173-hectare to Punjab and J&K, they claimed.