In the second half of Muhammad bin Tughlaq ‘s reign the kingdom particularly Delhi was facing economic distress due to his disastrous schemes such change of capital to Daulatabad and then back again.
There were also high expenses being incurred because of his wars against the Deccan kings.
Both these acts necessitated increasing taxes to enhance the treasury coffers to meet large expenses.
He was also facing rebellions.
Two natural calamities like sought and plague had added to the suffering of the people in the country. Urgent solutions had to be found to remedy the distress conditions.
The dam Satpula or the seven arches bridge or gate controlled weir/dam, was built to tap the water resources of the local nallah (stream) feeding the Yamuna river, which could be used to bring large areas of flat land in the vicinity under controlled irrigated agriculture to grow food crops to stem the famine conditions.
This solution was also thought to provide the much needed defense to the walls of the newly built city of Jahanpanah.