Pakistan gets extra water after Old Hussainiwala barrage damaged at Punjab border

There are some 29 gates along the way. The crest of gate number 26 has been totally damaged, while others have developed cracks.
Sutlej river
Sutlej river

CHANDIGARH:  In the last couple of days, around 2,500 cusecs of water from the Sutlej has flowed into Pakistan from 101 Old Hussainiwala barrage, built by the colonial British in 1922, as the crest beneath the gates is severely damaged, the first such incident in years.

Sources said the barrage in Ferozepur district has hardly been in use since the mid-1950s. The water flow is stopped at Harike headworks; only a trickle flows towards the barrage, the last “barrier” that controls water flowing into the neighboring country and further up to Sulemanki Headworks located near the Fazilka border. 

There are some 29 gates along the way. The crest of gate number 26 has been totally damaged, while others have developed cracks. “The crest beneath the gates of this barrage is damaged as it is hardly in use. The recent floods a couple of months back could also have contributed to the rusting. Some water has gone into Pakistan. We are trying to lower the water level so that we can check the damage,’’ said a senior official of the state irrigation department.

He said the pond of the barrage has been silted and is full of water hyacinth. It offers only marginal storage. The gates of the barrage open during floods to release excess water from Harike Headworks to prevent flooding. During normal conditions, these gates are closed so that water does not flow towards Pakistan.

There are two canals, the Eastern Canal and the Gang Canal. The Eastern Canal feeds Luther Head which supplies water for irrigational purposes in Ferozepur, Guruharsahai and Mamdot areas. The Gang Canal takes care of the flow of the river water when the pond has excess water.

‘Hardly used’
Sources said the barrage in Ferozepur district has hardly been in use since the mid-1950s. The water flow is stopped at Harike headworks; only a trickle flows towards the barrage, the last “barrier” is located near the Fazilka border

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