HEM CHANDER JERATH
After the agreement between the J&K and Punjab State, J&K is entitled to draw the agreed share of water i.e. 0.69MAF detail of which is given below:-
As per the agreement the following conditions were laid down in continuation to the earlier agreement signed between the two Chief Ministers in 1979
1. The crest levels of both the Head Regulators shall be fixed at 398.40 m as agreed.
2. The Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) Pune will carry out Model study to assess the crest levels of head regulators so as to ensure that the mandated share of 1150 cusecs of water is available to the State of J&K, which will be binding on both the States.
3. The project will continue to be implemented by the Government of Punjab.
4. The balance costs on account of compensation for land acquisition in respect of Thein Dam, as per the agreement would be paid for by the Government of Punjab promptly
5. The Government of Punjab would be making available to the Govt. of J&K 20 per cent share in the total power generated at the Thein Dam at the mutually agreed rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit immediately, subject to the confirmation of the rates by the CERC.
6. After detailed discussions it was decided that the issues of claims and counter claims would be referred for arbitration in accordance with Clause 16 of the Agreement of 1979.
7. Punjab Government reiterated its commitment to construct the balance 2.3 km Ravi Canal/ and syphon for the Kashmir Canal/ co-terminous with the construction of the Shahpur Kandi Dam.
In view of the above stated details and execution of agreements the J&K State shall be benefited in numerous ways. the main benefit which state is likely to get is 20 per cent power from Ranjit Sagar Dam (Thein Dam Basolhi) @Rs.3.50/ Unit subject to the approval by CERC.
In the present scenario of scorching heat the unscheduled power cuts has become a routine. As per the present prevailing circumstances, power crises shall continue to hurt people across Jammu region as the State has not been able to pay pending amount to power trading corporation.
At present State is getting only 800 MegaWatt of power out of 1800 MegaWatt resulting a shortage of 1000 MW. the reduction in power supply has affected PHE pumping stations resulting in no/ less water supply in few localities.
The crises of shortage of power supply has been further complicated due to the less discharge in river Chenab, the power production in both the Hydal Projects at Baglihar 1/2 has been reduced considerable. J&K State has a potential to produce 16475 MW Hydo power as per the assessment made by the Central Electricity Authority till now only 3263.46 MW has been harnessed on three western rivers.
The other components of the agreement shall be implemented in the due course of time when the Dam/ Head Regulator, canal portion and syphon are completed and water is stored in Shahpur Kandi Dam. As there is 1 clause that 20 per cent power generation shall be evacuated by the J&K State from Ranjit Sagar Dam.
In view of the present power crises J&K Govt. should immediate evacuate 20 per cent of power generated in Ranjit Sagar Dam which has not been done so far as the state has already lost Rs.134.00 crore on account of power charges from October 2017 to June 2018 i.e. in nine months.
From the past statistic power produced at Ranjit Sagar Dam from 2000–01 to 2015—16 is 23772 MU i.e. for 16 years = 1486 MU per year, 20 per cent of power shall be approximately 297 MU per year.
If the average cost of per unit is taken as Rs.6/ per unit the total cost involved for purchase of 297 MU for nine months shall be Rs.134 Crores. So for the last nine months state has lost about 134 Crores which could have been utilised for paying the balance payment to the Power Trading Corporation and the present Power crises shall be over to some extent by providing respite to the general public.
Even during winters powers about 297 MU per year shall be available for utilising throughout the J&K State and can reduce the power shortage being experienced by the Kashmir Valley.
The J&K State Govt. should immediate raise the infrastructure i.e. one bay to evacuate power from Ranjit Sagar Dam to connect the already laid transmission line upto the grid station. Govt. should also initiate process for laying another transmission line from Shahpur Kandi Dam to the nearest grid station as about 206 MW power is to be produced by the Punjab authorities from their canal network after the completion of the Shahpur Kandi Dam out of which J&K shall also get 20 per cent of power Generated i.e. about 41 MW throughout the year.
The Saga of Shahpurkandi Dam
As per Indus Water Treaty – 1960 signed between two nations, the India can solely utilise all water flowing in the Eastern Rivers like Ravi , Satluj and Beas presently flowing from India to Pakistan.
A deadlock regarding the construction of Shahpurkandi Dam between the States of J&K and Punjab was broken when the ministers of the both the states exchanged approved MOU by the State Cabinet in the first week of September 2017 at Srinagar so as to enable both the states to utilise every drop of water of Ravi River rather than allowing to flow directly into Pakistan.
In the interstate conference held at New Delhi on January 29, 955, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was allocated 0.65 MAF water from Ravi River in addition to the pre-partition utilisation of 0.04MAF from river Ravi. Accordingly, a DPR was prepared by Punjab for a multipurpose scheme called Thein Dam project for utilisation of Ravi Waters and in October 1977 it was decided to take up the construction work on the project.
A bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and J&K on January 20,1979 in which it was agreed that J&K Govt shall take off Ravi Canal from Shahpurkandi Barrage and draw its share of water (1150 Cusecs) . The Shahpurkandi Barrage shall be started at the First Technically Feasible opportunity . J&K shall get 20 per cent of total power generated from Thein Dam and Shahpurkandi Dam at busbar rate as its share of power. 15 per cent personnel shall be taken from J&K for the project. The persons affected shall be rehabilitated.
The Punjab Government delayed in construction of Shahpurkandi Dam and finally enacted ” Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004″ whereby it unilaterally terminated all Agreement signed by it relating of waters of Ravi- Beas . Due to which the J&K could not draw its allocated share of water and power leading to huge losses to the State.
Number of meetings were held between Chief Secretaries of both the states and number of times matter was deliberated under the chairmanship of secretary MOWR GOI. The ice was finally broken after a lapse of more than three decades when the Secretaries of the both the states resumed talks on the issue and MOU was signed on 3rd of March 2017 in presence of the Union Secretary MOWR, GOI.
It was unanimously agreed that the work on the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project would resume as soon both the State Governments formally approve the agreed decisions.
The State of Punjab ratified the MoU in the month of May 2017. Since the earlier agreement of 1979, lot of water has been passed through the Ravi River for the period more than three decades, the present government was highly serious to alienate the sufferings of the poor farmers of Samba and Kathua Districts.
The MoU was placed before the State Cabinet which vide decision dated August 9, 2017 took note of the MoU signed by Secretaries of both the States on March 3, 2017 and while conveying its approval, the Cabinet has desired that the Agreement of 1979, in so far as it relates to the State of Jammu and Kashmir should remain intact and further steps for implementation of the project shall rest as per the said M OU.
(To be continued)
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper