Achievements of WAPDA in the past 39 years have been unmatched by any other development agency in the country. When WAPDA took over in 1958, the settlement with India over the water usage of the Indus Basin rivers was being negotiated. After the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty in September, 1960, a colossal, task was entrusted to WAPDA to construct the gigantic Indus Basin Project comprising works of two large dams at Mangla and Tarbela, five barrages and eight inter-river link canals in a short period of ten years which was a great achievement of WAPDA. Immediate impact was that Pakistan changed from a food short country to a food surplus country. Subsequently, the population explosion in the country coupled with a stalemate in the further development of water resources for creation of new storages and lately the persistent low allocation of funds for water sector projects prohibited the maintenance of earlier high level of efficiencies. The valuable experience is still in store with WAPDA. The same efficiency in the management of water projects can be regained provided the funds once committed at the start of the project are provided smoothly and timely as per WAPDA demands.
Under its charter of duty WAPDA has planned and investigated schemes for exploitation of surface water resources, and has constructed medium size dams at Tanda, Khanpur and Hub. Chablat Kas Irrigation scheme near Hasanabdal & Karachi (North Karachi) Irrigation scheme were also executed.
Two large irrigation projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have been taken up to extend irrigation facilities to 0.57 million and 0.46 million acres respectively. The stages I & II of the Chashma Right Bank Canal Project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been completed which form about 50% of the entire project. In the third stage, this canal is being extended into Punjab upto Dera Ghazi Khan. The completed works under first two stages have already brought a change in the living standards of inhabitants of D. I. Khan and the third stage promises prosperity to the farmers of D. G. Khan when completed by the year 2000.
WAPDA Water Wing has brought about significant development in the Irrigation and Agriculture sectors. It has planned and executed 56 Drainage Projects to reclaim or improve crop cultivation conditions in 16.46 million acres of waterlogged lands. Of these projects, 28 are in Punjab, 18 in Sindh, 8 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2 in Balochistan. In this major effort, more than 15,000 tubewells were drilled and 11,000 km of surface and 6,500 km of pipe drains were constructed to enhance drainage in the high groundwater table areas. These projects have helped to increase the irrigated areas by about 14 million acres and have enhanced cropping intensity from 70 to more than 110 percent.
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