Open main menu

Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/155

This page needs to be proofread.
ch. xiii
135
CANALS

Western Jamna Canal.— Soon after the assumption of authority at Delhi in 1803 the question of the old Canal from the Jamna was taken up. The Delhi Branch was reopened in 1819, and the Hansi Branch six years later. In the famine year 1837-38 nearly 400,000 acres were irrigated. For more than half a century that figure represented the irrigating capacity of the canal. The English engineers in the main retained the faulty Moghal alignment, and waterlogging of the worst description developed. The effect on the health of the people was appalling. After long delay the canal was remodelled. The result has been most satisfactory in every way. In the last decade of the nineteenth century the Sirsa Branch and the Nardak Distributary were added, to carry water to parts of the Karnal and Hissar districts where any failure of the monsoon resulted in widespread loss of crops. If a scheme to increase the supply can be carried out, further extension in tracts now very liable to famine will become possible. In the six years ending 1910-11 the interest earned exceeded 8 p.c.

Upper Bari Doab Canal.— The headworks of the Upper Bari Doab Canal are above Madhopur near the point where the Ravi leaves the hills. The work was started soon after annexation, but only finished in 1859. Irrigation has grown from 90,000 acres in 1860-61 to 533,000 in 1880-81, 861,000 in 1900-1, and 1,157,000 in 1911-12. The later history of the canal consists mainly of great extensions in the arid Lahore district, and the irrigation there is now three-fifths of the whole. In parts of Amritsar, and markedly near the city, water-logging has become a grave evil, but remedial measures have now been undertaken. The interest earned on the capital expenditure in the six years ending 1910-11 averaged n| p.c.

Sirhind Canal.— A quarter of a century passed after