Shanan Hydro-Electric Project was created in the backdrop of dense deodar forests with a four-stage haulage rail network starting from
Jogindernagar up to Barot, a cup-shaped village on the bank of river Uhl. Barot Dam was made by British leaders as part of a tiny hydroelectricity project called the Shanan Hydel Project. It becomes the first hydroelectric power plant in India. The vision of the hydel project system was to build five power plant utilizing the same water that is drawn from the Uhl River. Shanan Power House of Jogindernagar is the oldest Hydro-electric powerhouse of India and one of the oldest powerhouses of the world.
The Shanan Power Home was designed, developed and constructed by British Engineer Colonel B.C. Batty and his group in collaboration with the ruler of Joginder Nagar area, Raja Karan Sen.
A narrow-gauge train track was laid from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar to bring the heavy machinery transported from Britain. A Haulage-way system was laid from the site of Shanan Power House to Barot, where the reservoir was created on Uhl river.
Commissioned in 1936 throughout the British policy, the Shanan Hydro-electric powerhouse was built under a 99-year lease deed carried out between Joginder Sen, the raja of Mandi State, and British engineer colonel BC Batty in 1925. During the reorganization of states in November 1966, the Shanan Power House went to Punjab on a 99-year lease deed. Shanan Power House, Stage-I of 4X12 = 48 MW was uprated to 4X15 = 60 MW in 1982. The uprated machines were ultimately commissioned in December 1982.