Ground-breaking of the project was jointly performed by the former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. WAPDA Chairman Syed Raghib Shah was also present on the occasion. In her address the Foreign Minister said that the project will significantly contribute towards socio-economic uplift of the people by boosting agriculture and reducing poverty in the area. Counting the advantages, she said that annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs 1.68 billion.
It is pertinent to mention that the twin menace of water logging and salinity has been on the rise in Muzaffar Garh district due to excessive seepage from Muzaffar Garh and Taunsa-Panjnad Link canals since completion of Taunsa Barrage in 1958, depriving the people of their cultivable land.
Earlier, WAPDA Chairman briefed that the project is of immense importance for agriculture development in the country, as it will help reclaim about 400,000 acres of land for cultivation in Kot Addu and Muzaffar Garh. Dilating upon the salient features, he said that the project comprises of concrete lining of 63-kilometer long Muzaffar Garh Canal, construction of 110-kilometer long new drains, rehabilitation of allied structures as well as construction of 50 new bridges. The project has been bifurcated in six contracts, so as to complete it in the shortest possible time by carrying out work on all the contracts simultaneously, he added. The Chairman said that the project will also be instrumental in bringing additional land under cultivation, as more water will be made available for irrigation due to control of seepage from the two canals.