LAHORE: The Punjab Irrigation Department has completed the acquisition of 8,558 acres of land for the Jalalpur Jattan Irrigation Project at a cost of RS 3,664 million, Profit learned here on Monday.
The officials of the department informed this scribe that the project was located along the right bank of river Jehlum from Rasul Barrage, whereas the catchment areas were Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, Khushab Tehsil and Jehlum Tehsil.
The officials also informed that the project was initiated in 2016 and would be completed during the current fiscal year.
“The department had to acquire 8,558 acres of land for the said project for the construction of Jalalpur canal 116 km and its distribution system of 210 km and flood carrier channels.
A total of 4,351 acres of land for main canal and distribution system in a budget of RS 2075.5 million, a total of 4,191 acres of land for drainage system for flood carrier channel in a budget of RS 1,570.4 million and 16 acres of land for PID colony at Kheowra in a budget of RS 18 million was to be acquired.
However, the proposed land has been fully acquired carried out by the following procedure of the Land Acquisition Act 1984 whereas the implementation of LARPs (The land acquisition and resettlement plan) was being made as per guidelines of Asian Development Bank,” they informed.
The officials said that the geographical spread was between salt range to southern areas of river Jehlum and this territory was almost flat excluding 6 miles reach of the main canal which crosses through this hilly range.
“Resultantly, this reach travels parallel to the river Jehlum and there was a dire geo-strategic need for protection of this canal in this reach by strong embankment. The command area of Jalalpur main canal has been increased from 160,000 acres to 174,000 acres. In the initial planning phase of the project, the planned numbers of distributaries to be established were 18 which were further enhanced to 23 along with 7 minor during the design stage,” they said.
The officials further added that the said project would be directly beneficial to 225,000 rural population dwelling in these areas whose livelihood is agriculture.
“These small farmers would be provided with continuous supply of fresh water for drinking purposes along with stability in crops’ annual yield. Concerning the land acquisition, all required funds were provided by the Punjab government whereas Asian Development Bank assisted in financial support in the construction phase by 87 percent and remaining 13 percent by the Punjab government,” they added.
When asked at what rate the department acquired the land, they replied that the basic estimation of land price has been as per discretion of District Price Assessment Committee rates/DC rate whereas the construction work of the canal has been completed about 25 per cent.