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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/159

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CANALS

Canal has begun. The engineering difficulties have been great, and the forecast does not promise such large gains as even the Lower Jhelam Canal. But a return of y p.c. is expected.

Monsoon or Inundation Canals.— The numerous monsoon or inundation canals, which take off from the Indus, Jhelam, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej, though individually petty works, perform an important office in the thirsty south-western districts. By their aid a kharif crop can be raised without working the wells in the hot weather, and with luck the fallow can be well soaked in autumn, and put under wheat and other spring crops. For the maturing of these crops a prudent cultivator should not trust to the scanty cold weather rainfall, but should irrigate them from a well. The Sidhnai has a weir, but may be included in this class, for there is no assured supply at its head in the Ravi in the winter. In 1910-11 the inundation canals managed by the State watered 1,800,000 acres. There are a number of private canals in Ferozepore, Shahpur, and the hill district of Kangra. In Ferozepore the district authorities take a share in the management.

Colonization of Canal Lands.— The colonization of huge areas of State lands has been an important part of new canal schemes in the west of the Panjab. When the Lower Chenab Canal was started the population of the vast Bar tract which it commands consisted of a few nomad cattle owners and cattle thieves. It was a point of honour to combine the two professions. Large bodies of colonists were brought from the crowded districts of the central Panjab. The allotments to peasants usually consisted of 55 acres, a big holding for a man who possibly owned only four or five acres in his native district. There were larger allotments known as yeoman and capitalist grants, but the peasants are