December 26, 2013
The Punjab irrigation department is starting its annual month-long canal de-silting campaign from Thursday, in which 120 million cubic foot of silt would be removed from 2,618 canal miles of 482 irrigation canals. Punjab Irrigation Consultant and Canal Regulator Engineer M H Siddiqui told us that de-silting programme would be carried out in phases keeping in view irrigation water requirements of various irrigation regions.
He said canals taking off from rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab were closed in the month of January for a month long period for clearing silt and garbage from waterways in six zones of Provincial Irrigation Department including Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Lahore to irrigate millions acres of entire province.
Siddiqui said the de-silting and repairing embankments of canals saved scare water resource for maintaining normal water flows in canals, branches and distributaries. The Chief Engineers of these six zones are assigned to lead this annual campaign of de-silting of waterways with the help and support of farmers as well as provincial government’s funds.
Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority sources told this scribe that the water regulatory body on Wednesday reduced water discharge to the minimum from Tarbela dam on river Indus to 19,000 and from Mangla dam on river Jhelum to 10,000 cusecs. The reduced water flows from the dams has decreased the cheap hydel power generation by about 1,500 megawatt plunging the country into prolonged hours of electricity loadshedding.