The new barrage would replace existing 125 years old Khanki Headworks and ensure sustainable irrigation supplies to 3.3 million acres of fertile land in eight districts of central Punjab including Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Faisalabad, Jhang, Chiniot and Toba Tek Sing, Chief Project Director, Muhammad Azam Ch said here on Wednesday.
While, briefing the selected group of media persons at the site of the Barrage, he said, the new barrage would also ensure safe passage of floods water through design capacity enhancements of the barrage from 800,000 cusecs to 1,100,000 cusecs.
He informed that construction of the barrage was started in July 2013 and expressed the confidence that it would be completed by the June 30, 2017 and within the budget as about 87 percent of development work has already been completed.
Muhammad Azam further said new barrage would have two abutments, 62 piers and a new head regulator, one road bridge and two divide wall alongwith fish ladders for fish migration.
The guide banks would be constructed by approximately 2,000 meters on right and 1,200 meters on left and four sloping studs would be constructed to the left of the barrage to protect the river banks from erosion.
The Chief Project Director said, under the instructions of the funding agency, about 35 kilometers of existing approach roads would also be upgraded.
Responding to a question, he said, the barrage has been designed to save the canal network of 2,925 channels and reliably divert 11,653 cusecs of sustainable irrigation to 3.03 million acres land and would also save agriculture and fisheries in the region.
He said, the expected life of this new barrage being constructed at 900 feet downstream of existing headworks is about 100 years and it would pass upto 1.1 million cusecs flood water.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Project Director, Shahid Salim Chaudhry said, the old Khanki headworks was constructed in 1892 and had a capacity to safe flood capacity of 800,000 cusecs, adding, it was being dismantled gradually.
He said, the project impact would be improved agriculture production and farm income in the Lower Chenab Canal area.
The project outcome would be sustainable improved delivery of services for agriculture and better water manage in Lower Chenab Canal command area, he added.
Shahid Salim said, the barrage would directly benefit about 568,000 families, reduce flooding risks from once in 50 years to once in 100 years and would provide a new road access across the river.
The barrage would also eliminate annual water leakages of 370 million cubic meters, he said and added, an additional discharge of 95 million cusecs over original design capacity would be available during fold season of 90 days.
He said, it would contribute improving irrigation intensity and crop production, adding, the irrigation distribution system has already been remodeled for these additional flows.