SUKKUR, Dec 16: Nearly 40 per cent work on one of the two cofferdams at the Sukkur Barrage has been completed and work on the other coffer-dam is in the initial stage.
This was stated by the commander of the Frontier Works Organization's task force for rehabilitation of the Sukkur Barrage, Brig Javed Ashraf Bajwa, while talking to journalists at the barrage site on Thursday.
He said after completion of the coffer-dams, work on the bottom area of Bay I and II would be started. Brig Bajwa hoped that the repair work would be completed by the deadline of April 15, 2005.
He said it was easier to carry out large-scale repairs now because of less water flow but after April the task would become difficult due to increase in flow of water.
He said it would take some days to determine the actual extent and nature of the damage near Bay I and II and in the light of recommendations of consultants, the FWO would undertake further measures to repair the barrage.
He said 300 feet deep tube-wells had also been made to suck water from the pond area to facilitate the repair work. He said the FWO would identify short-term measures to rectify the situation, besides suggesting long-term measures to secure safety of the barrage.
He said a detailed analysis of the barrage structure had already been conducted by using modern technology. Brig Bajwa expressed the hope that the tail-end channel would be repaired during the closure period in 2005.
Answering a question, he clarified that the repair work did not include enhancing discharge capacity of the barrage. He said the first target was to repair the damage caused to Bay I and II of the Sukkur Barrage and the Dadu Canal near the Ruk Regulator.
He said the repair work had been entrusted to the army because the irrigation department did not have required resources and expertise to undertake the task. FWO director-general Lt-Gen Shahid Niaz is scheduled to visit the barrage on Friday to review the progress of the work.