The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) increased water releases downstream the Tarbela dam on River Indus from 12,000 cusecs to 17,000 cusecs that upped hydel power generation from 800MW to 1130MW on Wednesday. Punjab Irrigation Engineers told Business Recorder that the month long de-silting and annual repairs of canals programme was almost completed in the last week of January.
The water regulatory body has started resuming normal flows in the irrigation canals across the country for watering the winter crops including wheat, grams, lentils, oilseeds, sunflower, maize, vegetables, fodder and fruit orchards. Meanwhile, weather remained cold and dry in most parts of the country. However, rain occurred at isolated places in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Quetta, Hazara divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Met Office forecast for today: Cold and partly cloudy to cloudy weather is expected over Northern parts of the country with scattered mist and isolated fog over plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh. However, scattered thunder-rain with snowfall over the hills is likely to occur over Malakand, Hazara, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Lahore divisions, Gilgit-Baltistan & Kashmir (with isolated heavy falls). Also, thunder-rain with snowfall over the hills may occur at isolated places of Sahiwal, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur, Quetta, Zhob, Multan divisions and Fata. While cold and mainly dry to partly cloudy weather with mist at some places in plain areas is expected over rest parts of the country.
Rain, snowfall during past 24 hours: Sialkot 19, Rawalakot 14, Gujrat 13, Garidupatta 09, Muzaffarabad 08, Murree, Gujranwala 06; Snowfall (inch): Astore 06, Murree & Kotli 05, Balakot 04, Bunji and Saidu Sharif 03, Abbotabad and Lahore 02, Rawalpindi 01mm. Snowfall (inch): Astore 06, Skardu 03. Coldest Places in country: Gupis, Kalat, Parachinar -07°C, Skardu -06°C, Astore, Kalam -04, Hunza, Drosh, Quetta-03°C.