Chandigarh, April 30 (IANS) The Punjab government has resumed construction of the prestigious Shahpurkandi dam after due assessment on the ground with respect to labour availability at the site and Covid-19 safety precautions.
The work, suspended due to the nationwide lockdown, resumed in the presence of A. Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary, Water Resources Department, who guided the work resumption on Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s directives.
The dam, being constructed on the Ravi river by the state government at an estimated cost of Rs 2,700 crore, will reduce the water outflow to Pakistan, while benefitting both Punjab and J&K.
According to an official spokesperson, the Chief Minister and Minister of Water Resources Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria had asked the Pathankot district administration to examine the feasibility of restarting construction.
The spokesperson said of the total estimated balance cost (as on 2014), Rs 1,408 crore would be spent on the power component by the state. Rs 685 crore would be spent on the irrigation part, with the Centre contributing Rs 485 crore and Punjab, Rs 179.28 crore.
On completion, it will generate 206 MW and could irrigate 5,000 hectares in Punjab and 32,000 hectares in J&K’s Sambha and Kathua districts.
The Shahpurkandi dam will provide a balancing reservoir to ensure uniform water supply to the canal system, taking off from Madhopur headworks. It will also ensure optimum power benefits from Ranjit Sagar dam by using it as a peaking station.