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Construction of New Barrage in India Stops Ravi River Water Flow

Recent reports from Indian media suggest a significant development regarding the flow of water from the Ravi River into Pakistan. It has been disclosed that the completion of the Shahpur Kandi barrage, situated on the border of Indian Punjab and the region of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has led to the cessation of water flow towards Pakistan. Previously, 1150 cusecs of water designated for Pakistan will now be redirected to benefit the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region, as per India Today. This redirected water supply is expected to positively impact approximately 32,000 hectares of land in the Kathua and Samba districts.

The Shahpur Kandi barrage project, which has encountered various challenges over the past three decades, is now nearing its conclusion. According to Indian media reports, India, under the Indus Water Treaty signed with Pakistan in 1960, maintains exclusive rights over the waters of the Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas rivers, while Pakistan controls the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab rivers.

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With the completion of the Shahpur Kandi barrage, India gains the ability to fully utilize the water resources of the Ravi River. Consequently, the water that previously flowed towards Pakistan from the old Lakhanpur dam will now be utilized within Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. India has already undertaken various storage projects, such as the Bhakra Dam on the Sutlej, Pong and Pandoh Dam on the Beas, and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on the Ravi. Moreover, initiatives like the Beas-Sutlej link and the Indira Gandhi Nahar Project have allowed India to utilize nearly 95% of its share of water from the eastern rivers.

Despite these efforts, around two million acre-feet of water from the Ravi River has remained unused, flowing into Pakistan below Madhopur. However, with the completion of the Shahpur Kandi barrage, India now possesses the opportunity to harness the water resources from the Ravi River to its advantage.

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