ISLAMABAD - The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has initiated Muzaffargarh Canal Lining Project with an estimated cost of Rs.8.66 billion to control water logging in district Muzaffargarh. Official sources told APP that the lining of Muzaffargarh Canal and other remedial measures are scheduled to be completed in two years with an estimated cost of Rs.8.66 billion. They said 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 Muzaffargarh.

The project comprises of concrete lining of 63-kilometer long Muzaffargarh 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, they added.

The sources 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.

The project will also significantly contribute towards socio- economic uplift of the people by boosting agriculture and reducing poverty in the area and annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs. 1.68 billion.

It is pertinent to mention that the menace of water logging and salinity has been on the rise in Muzaffargarh due to seepage from Muzaffargarh and Taunsa-Panjnad Link canals since completion of Taunsa Barrage in 1958.