PESHAWAR, Aug 27: Engineers restored historic Munda Headworks on river Swat which was severely damaged in recent floods, in record time on Friday, said an official statement.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti visited the headworks and inaugurated the system by discharging 830 cusec water in the canals. This mega irrigation system was constructed by the British engineers in 1921.

Heavy floods in river Swat had washed away six out of eight gates of the headworks which irrigates over 135,000 acres land in Peshawar Valley, considered the food basket of the province.Officials said that total discharge capacity of the headworks was 159,000 cusecs and total discharge recorded on July 29 was above 350,000 cusecs which caused severe damaged to its structure. Initially engineers had evaluated that reconstruction and repair work would be completed in six months, but the task was accomplished in 20 days.

Chief Minister Hoti while appreciating dedication of the engineers of the irrigation department said that vast tract of fertile land in the valley would have become barren if reconstruction work was delayed.

He said that farmers could not have grown crops in Charsadda, Peshawar and Nowshera districts if the scheme was not repaired instantly. He said that rehabilitation and reconstruction process in the flood-affected areas of the province had been started and in many inaccessible areas roads had been opened for light traffic.

Mr Hoti said road to Behrain from Mingora would soon be reopened for traffic. The provincial government, he added, had allocated Rs800 million from the Annual Development Programme for reconstruction and rehabilitation of irrigation channels and schemes in different areas.

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