NEW DELHI: In keeping with its decision to review utilisation of Indus waters as part of its signalling that Pakistan cannot expect past voluntary concessions to continue as long as it exports terror to India, the government has moved further on a project to store water in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.

Looking to fast-track utilisation of India's rights under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the Central Water Commission (CWC) has finalised a detailed report on Ujh multi-purpose project and the government made it clear the proposal aims to harness water that was flowing untapped across the border. The project report has been submitted to the J&K government for evaluation so that construction may begin at an early date.

The project, which is to come up in Kathua district, will store around 0.65 million acre feet (MAF) of water from Ujh (a tributary of Ravi) to irrigate 30,000 hectares and produce over 200 MW of power.

The government decided to take a relook at the implementation of the Indus treaty after PM Narendra Modi decided to do so following the attack by Pakistan-backed terrorists on the Army camp at Uri in 2016. An inter-ministerial task force with Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to the PM, and national security adviser Ajit Doval was formed to examine the IWT with Pakistan.

The Ujh project is a step towards India's utilisation of waters of the Indus and its tributaries in keeping with its rights under the treaty.