SUKKUR: The seven off-taking canals branching out from the Sukkur Barrage will remain closed from January 6 to January 20, during which time, the annual repair and maintenance works of the barrage will be carried out.
According to officials at the Sukkur Barrage control room, all the gates of the structure will be raised to release water downstream. Meanwhile, the gates of the seven canals that supply water into the Khairpur Feeder West, Rohri Canal, Khairpur Feeder East and Nara Canal in the left pocket and Dadu Canal, Rice Canal and North West (Kirthar) Canal in the right pocket will be kept closed for 15 days.
The control room in-charge, Abdul Aziz Soomro, told The Express Tribune that during the 15 days of annual closure, the barrage’s gates are oiled and greased. Subsequently, the floor of the off-taking canals is inspected and repaired, if needed. Moreover, the earth work and stone-pitching is also carried out wherever required.
According to Soomro, the practice of lubricating the gates helped in their smooth functioning throughout the year. He explained that the annual closure of Guddu Barrage is carried out every year in the month of April, while the closure of Kotri Barrage is carried out from December 25 to January 10 every year. The water is released downstream from Sukkur Barrage on the midnight between January 5 and 6 and will reach Kotri by January 10, after which the Kotri Barrage authorities will start heading up water level.
Meanwhile, the Sukkur Barrage’s chief engineer has asked the North Sindh Urban Services Corporation to make alternate arrangements for smooth supply of drinking water. Despite the timely advice issued by the chief engineer, Sukkur’s residents have had to face acute water shortage because of the lack of alternate arrangements in previous years. After the re-shuffle in the NSUSC, however, the Sukkur deputy commissioner has taken charge of the utility and is optimistic that arrangements will be better this season.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2014.
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