Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday ordered constitution of an official panel, to be headed by Chief Secretary, to sort-out issues regarding Shahpur Kandi Barrage project with the Punjab Government.
These instructions were passed by the Chief Minister while chairing a high-level meeting to discuss the issues related to the construction of Shahpur Kandi Barrage project in district Kathua.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, Minister for Agriculture Production, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Law & Justice, Abdul Haq Khan, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Chaudhary and Minister of State for PHE and I&FC, Syed Farooq Andrabi were present in the meeting.
The Chief Minister said the CS-led official panel will have Financial Commissioner Planning, Development & Monitoring Department and Administrative Secretaries of Power, Revenue and Law Departments as its members and the committee shall take up the unsorted issues with the Punjab Government. “While J&K Government is ready to sort out all issues related to the Shahpur Kandi Barrage project with Punjab, however, it has to be ensured that our State’s interests are properly served and not compromised,” she said and added that J&K has suffered huge losses on account of the Punjab Government not honoring the 1979 Agreement and unilaterally abrogating the said agreement, under which the J&K State needs to be compensated properly.
The Chief Minister called for time-bound settlement of all pending issues with the Punjab Government to realize J&K’s due share in power supply as well as irrigation.
While reviewing the status of the project, the Chief Minister was informed that the present issue of construction of Shahpur Kandi Barrage has it’s provenance in the agreement signed on 29 January 1979, regarding Thein Dam and Power Plant Scheme between Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. However, since the inception of the Agreement various issues pertaining to irrigation, power, compensation and employment have cropped up, which are required to be resolved for reaping the benefits as per the agreed entitlements.
The meeting was informed that J&K Government had got construction work of Shahpur Kandi Barrage stopped in 2014, following promulgation of Punjab Government’s controversial legislation “Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004” and pending issues related to Ranjit Sagar Dam including land compensation, employment, facilities for dam oustees and acquisition of additional submerged land.
The meeting was also attended by Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development and Monitoring, Mr B B Vyas, Commissioner Secretary, PDD, Mr Dheeraj Gupta, Commissioner Secretary, Revenue, Mr Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Secretary PHE and I&FC, Mr Sanjeev Verma, Director Information, Mr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Abdul Majeed Bhat.