PROJECT STARTED A DECADE AGO
From Our Correspondent
LAHORE: After a delay of more than one decade, the construction of Kachhi Canal will finally be completed by the third week of August, which will be followed by the filling of water to test the main canal and its structures. Formal commissioning of the canal is scheduled to take place by the end of August with the release of water into the distribution system for irrigating 72,000 acres of land in Dera Bugti district of Balochistan. These things were revealed by project authorities in a meeting presided over by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Lieutenant General (Retired) Muzammil Hussain. The meeting was held to review progress on the project. Speaking on the occasion, the Wapda chairman pointed out that Kachhi Canal, work on which started 15 years ago, was almost an abandoned project because of certain reasons, gross cost overrun and long delays. However, he said, the project was revitalised due to active support of the current federal government and commitment of the Wapda team, the engineers in particular. “It is indeed heartening to note that the project is finally going to see the light of day after a long period of 15 years,” Hussain said. Kachhi Canal is of immense importance for the development of water infrastructure and irrigated agriculture in Balochistan. The project is being completed at a cost of about Rs80 billion. The 363-kilometre-long main canal, out of which 351km is lined canal, starts from Taunsa Barrage in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab and ends in Dera Bugti district in Balochistan. The discharge capacity of the main canal is 6,000 cusecs. As many as 914 structures have been constructed at or over the main canal including head and cross regulators, road and railway bridges, cross-drainage and escape structures, watercourse crossings, etc.