Punjab will keep the six monthly non-perennial canals running till 15th October for irrigating the Kharif crops including rice, cotton, sugarcane, maize, vegetables, fodder etc Canals Regulator and Consultant, M H Siddiqui told Business Recorder on Thursday.
He said that Punjab is drawing about 93,000 cusecs water from the Mangla zone and Indus zone to fill its canals, which have the capacity to carry 120,000 cusecs water across the province. Punjab is getting 17,000 cusecs water from river Chenab, 33,000 cusecs downstream the Mangla dam on river Jhelum and 53,000 cusecs from the Indus River. Siddiqui said that Indus River System Authority (Irsa) is releasing 7,500 cusecs water in Thal canal, 12,000 cusecs in the Chashma-Jhelum link canal, 4,500 cusecs in the Dera Ghazi Khan Khan, 4,000 cusecs in Muzaffargarh canal and some water in the TP link canal. Punjab Irrigation System commands an area (CCA) of 21.5 million acres, he added.
It may be recalled that technical committee of the Irsa, comprising representatives of all provinces, officials of the Water and Power Development Authority, the Flood Commission and Nespak, has already apportioned the available water among the provinces according to which Punjab has been allocated 16.35 MAF water from October 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013 for sowing, growing and maturing the winter Rabi crops including wheat, grams, lentils, oil seeds, vegetables, barley, and fodder for the livestock. He said though the country will be facing 19 per cent shortage of water for irrigating the coming Rabi crops till 31st March 2013.