The Punjab Irrigation Department has started closing its irrigation canals taking off from rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab for a month long desilting of the waterways during Rabi 2012-13 , Punjab Irrigation Regulator Engineer M H Siddiqui told Business Recorder here on Tuesday.
He said in view of limited irrigation water needs of the provinces, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has reduced water releases from Tarbela dam on river Indus to 15,000 cusecs and from Mangla dam to 10,000 cusecs. This quantity of water is mainly being used for generation of electricity from hydropower houses of Tarbela, Mangla and Ghazi Barotha the hydel power generating units having the capacity of 6,500MW are mow producing less than 1,000MW electricity.
Giving schedule of canal closure of Mangla Zone canals, Siddiqui said lower Jhelum, Rasul Qadirabad link and upper Chenab canals will be closed on December 26 (today) Qadirabad Balloki link and central Bari canals. on December 27, lower Barri Doab canal, Balloki Slemanki link on December 29, Upper Pakpattan canal and Eastern Sadiqia Canal on December 30, Upper Jhelum canal on January 12, Lower Chenab canal on January 13, , Upper Bahawal canal on January 13, These canals take off from Rasul, Khanki, Marala, Qadirabad, Balloki, Sulemani, Sidhnai and Panjnad irrigation head-works.
Schedule of Tarbela Command Canals closure: Trimmu canals and Trimmu Sidhani Link canal on January 10, Sidhnai canal and SMB link January 11, Lower Pakpattan canal January 12, Lower Bahawal canal and Thaal canal January 13, Panjnad canals January 3 and Taunsa canals on 31 December. Meanwhile, according to the Wapda rivers flows and reservoirs level report about 41,000 cusecs water is flowing in the four live rivers at their rim stations, Indus at Tarbela 18,700, Kabul at Nowshera 9,100 cusecs, Jhelum at Mangla 8,100 cusecs and Chenab at Marala 5,900 cusecs. There is only 3.48 MAF water left in two reservoirs, Tarbela 1.807 MAF and Mangla 1.675 MAF for watering the Rabi crops including wheat, grams, lentils, barleys, oil seeds, vegetables, sunflower, fodder etc till April 2013.