Open main menu

Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/158

This page needs to be proofread.
138
[ch.
CANALS

four years ending 1911-12 the average area watered was 748,000 acres and the interest earned exceeded 10 p.c.

Triple Project — Upper Jhelam and Upper Chenab Canals and Lower Ban Doab Canal.— The Lower Chenab Canal takes the whole available supply of the Chenab river. But it does not command a large area in the Rechna Doab lying in the west of Gujranwala, in which rain cultivation is very risky and well cultivation is costly. No help can be got from the Ravi, as the Upper Bar! Doab Canal exhausts its supply. Desirable as the extension of irrigation in the areas mentioned above is, the problem of supplying it might well have seemed insuperable. The bold scheme known as the Triple Project which embraces the construction of the Upper Jhelam, Upper Chenab, and Lower Ban Doab Canals, is based on the belief that the Jhelam river has even in the cold weather water to spare after feeding the Lower Jhelam Canal. The true raison d'etre of the Upper Jhelam Canal, whose head-works are at Mangla in Kashmir a little north of the Gujrat district, is to throw a large volume of water into the Chenab at Khanki, where the Lower Chenab Canal takes off, and so set free an equal supply to be taken out of the Chenab higher up at Merala in Sialkot, where are the head-works of the Upper Chenab Canal. But the Upper Jhelam Canal will also water annually some 345,000 acres in Gujrat and Shahpur. The Upper Chenab Canal will irrigate 648,000 acres mostly in Gujranwala, and will be carried across the Ravi by an aqueduct at Balloke in the south of Lahore. Henceforth the canal is known as the Lower Ban Doab, which will water 882,000 acres, mostly owned by the State, in the Montgomery and Multan districts. On the other two canals the area of Government land is not large. The Triple Project is approaching completion, and irrigation from the Upper Chenab