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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/156

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CANALS

the Upper Bari Doab Canal began working before the water of the Sutlej was used for irrigation. The Sirhind Canal weir is at Rupar where the river emerges from the Siwaliks. Patiala, Jind, and Nabha contributed to the cost, and own three of the five branches. But the two British branches are entitled to nearly two-thirds of the water, which is utilized in the Ludhiana and Ferozepore districts and in the Faridkot State. The soil of the tract commanded is for the most part a light sandy loam, and in years of good rainfall it repays dry cultivation. The result is that the area watered fluctuates largely. But in the six years ending 1910-11 the interest earned averaged 7 p.c, and the power of expansion in a bad year is a great boon to the peasantry.

Canal extensions in Western Panjab.— In the last quarter of a century the chief task of the Canal Department in the Panjab has been the extension of irrigation to the Rechna and Jech Doabs and the lower part of the Bari Doab. All three contained large areas of waste belonging to the State, mostly good soil, but incapable of cultivation owing to the scanty rainfall. Colonization has therefore been an important part of all the later canal projects. The operations have embraced the excavation of five canals.

Lower Chenab Canal.— The Lower Chenab Canal is one of the greatest irrigation works in the world, the area commanded being 3^ million acres, the average discharge four or five times that of the Thames at Teddington, and the average irrigated area 2 million acres. There are three main branches, the Rakh, the Jhang, and the Gugera. The supply is secured by a great weir built across the Chenab river at Khanki in the Gujranwala district, and 'the irrigation is chiefly in the Gujranwala, Lyallpur, and Jhang districts. In the four years ending 1911-12 the average interest