Punjab Irrigation Department
Punjab Irrigation Department (Urdu: پنجاب محکمہ آب پاشی), Pakistan, is a provincial irrigation department in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Punjab Irrigation Department irrigates 21 million acres of agricultural land in Punjab. Muhammad Mohsin Leghari, an MPA from Rajanpur, is the Minister for Irrigation. Secretary Irrigation to the government of the Punjab is the administrative head of the department.
|Industry||Water Resource Management|
|21 Million Acres|
|Services||Water Resource Management|
Number of employees
|Divisions||6 Operational Zones - Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha, Bahawalpur and DG Khan|
The Indus Basin has a long history of irrigation dating back to 4000 year old Indus valley civilization in Harrapa and Mohenjodaro settlements. At the time, irrigation in the region was done mainly through inundation canals. During the Mughal era Hansli Canal was of River Ravi and Shah Nehar of River Beas are worth mentioning. The former was built be emperor Jahangir to irrigate his hunting ground near Sheikhupura. It was 80 kilometre long and had a reservoir at Hiran Minar. This was first perennial canal of the Indus Basin.
The history of modern Punjab Irrigation Department can be traced back to the establishment of 5 major canals in the region in early 20th century when the British built Lower Chenab Canal, Lower Jhelum Canal, Upper Jhelum Canal, Upper Chenab Canal and Lower Bari Doab Canal. Three of these canals namely Upper Jhelum Canal, Upper Chenab Canal and Lower Bari Doab Canal were built by John Benton when he was Chief Engineer in Public Works Department, Punjab. The Triple Canal System scheme was sanctioned in 1905 and was completed in 1917.
The Indus Waters Treaty which was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 was a major watershed in the history of development of irrigation infrastructure in the province. The treaty gave the rights of the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin namely Ravi, Sutlej and Beas to India and thus necessitated the construction of inter river link canals to haul water from Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to the eastern parts of the province. It was after this treaty that Pakistan built Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs to store monsoon water for winter months to continue to irrigate the fields year round.
The second major development post independence in the history of irrigation in Punjab was 1991 Water Accord between all the four provinces of Pakistan. This accord gave Punjab province 55.94 million acre feet of water share annually for its irrigation and drinking usages. It is with this share that the Punjab Irrigation Department caters to its 21 million acres of command area in the province.
Punjab Irrigation Department is responsible for delivering the following services in the province:
- Provision of irrigation supplies to farmers
- Construction, maintenance and operation of irrigation infrastructure
- Flood planning and management
- Basic and applied research in hydraulics, groundwater and land reclamation
- Construction of reservoirs
- Vertical and surface drainage
- Management of workshop and machinery pool
Punjab Irrigation Department Manages the following barrages:
- Jinnah Barrage on River Indus
- Taunsa Barrage on River Indus
- Rasul Barrage on River Jhelum[circular reference]
- Marala Headworks on River Chenab[circular reference]
- Qadirabad Barrage on River Chenab
- New Khanki Barrage River Chenab
- Balloki Barrage on River Ravi
- Trimmu Barrage on River Chenab[circular reference]
- Sidhnai Barrage on River Ravi
- Islam Barrage on River Sutlej[circular reference]
- Suleimanki Barrage on River Sutlej[circular reference]
- Panjnad Barrage on River Indus
For the purpose of administration and management the Punjab irrigation system is divided into the following 7 operational zones:
There are following operational circles in Lahore Zone:
- Upper Chenab Canal Circle
- Depalpur Canal Circle
- Link Canal Circle
- Lahore Drainage Circle
- Development Circle
There are following operational circles in Faisalabad Zone:
- Lower Chenab Canal East Circle
- Lower Chenab Canal West Circle
- Drainage Circle
- Qadirabad Balloki Link Canal Circle
- Development Circle
There are following operational circles in Sargodha Zone:
- Upper Jhelum Canal Circle
- Lower Jhelum Canal Circle
- Thal Canal Circle
- Drainage Circle
There are following operational circles in Multan Zone:
- Nilibar Circle
- Haveli Canal Circle
- Development Circle
- Mailsi Canal Circle
There are following operational circles in Bahawalpur Zone:
- Bahawalpur Canal Circle
- Bahawalnagar Canal Circle
- Rahimyarkhan Canal Circle
- Development Circle
DG Khan ZoneEdit
There are following operational circles in Dera Ghazi Khan Zone:
- Derajat Circle
- Muzaffargarh Canal Circle
- Project Circle
This zone has been recently established to look after the small dams in the Potohar region of Punjab
Each operational zone is headed by a chief engineer and each circle is headed by a superintending engineer and they are supported by an extended team of executive engineers, sub-divisional officers, sub-engineers, mates and baildars. In addition to operational zones, the department has following zones for overall planning and management of irrigation operations:
- Planning and Review Zone
- Drainage and Flood zone
- Research zone
- Development zone
Punjab Irrigation Department also manages Government Engineering Academy Punjab which provides pre-service and in-service training to irrigation engineers.
Punjab Irrigation Department delivers irrigation supplies to farmers through 51,990 outlets in its system of 24 main canals and distribution canals spanning 22,700 kilometers.
The Punjab Irrigation Department has its head office in Old Anarkali, Lahore. Punjab Irrigation Department has complaint hotline 0800 11 333 for registration of complaints regarding irrigation supply issues. Daily canal discharges at all the canals in the entire system can be checked at the official website of the department.
For the purpose of management of various projects and institutional reforms the Punjab Irrigation Department has established the following Units:
Laws and policiesEdit
Punjab Irrigation Department functions under Canal and Drainage Act 1873 which was introduced to regulate irrigation, navigation and drainage of provincial territories. The purpose of this act is that the Provincial Government is entitled to use and control for public purposes, the water of all rivers and streams flowing in natural channels, and of all lake and other natural collections of still water in said territories. An amendment was made in Canal and Drainage Act in 2016. In 2019, the Government introduced Punjab Water Act 2019 to regulate the usage of surface and groundwater in the province.
In 2010-11 completed the Taunsa Barrage rehabilitation and modernization project with cost of Rs. 11 billion rupees. Punjab Irrigation Department Completed the Punjab Irrigation completed the construction of New Khanki Barrage in August 2017 which replaced the old Khanki Headworks which irrigated 3.03 million acres of fertile land in 8 districts of central Punjab.
Punjab Irrigation Department has, in December 2019, inaugurated the construction of Jalalpur Irrigation Canal System. The 117 kilometer long canal will originate from River Jhelum at Rasul Barrage and, along with its branches, will irrigate 1,70,000 acres of arid land in Districts of Jhelum and Khushab. The Department has also initiated works on Dadocha Dam which will supply 35 million gallons of drinking per day to the people of Rawalpindi. In addition to this civil works on projects like Rehabilitation of Trimmu and Panjnad Barrages, rehabilitation of Trimmu-Sidhnai Canal, SMB Link Canal, Ahmadpur Branch and Eastern Sadiqia Canal are also underway and expected to be completed by 2022.
On 22 May 2019, Punjab Khal Panchayat Authority was established under the Punjab Khal Panchayat Ordinance 2019 to ensure implementation of warabandi minimizing the water disputes and distribution. This authority replaced the erstwhile Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority (PIDA).
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