• Short Summary

    West Pakistan is faced with an exceedingly difficult problem in large areas of its agriculture lands: salinity and water-logging.

  • Description

    Shot of Chuharkana Inspection Bungalow, where Philip was served tea, and given a preliminary briefing before being shown a typical well in operation

    The "Pilot", who guides the cavalcade walks past the Duke's car (a dark green Oldsmobile convertible), as he makes preliminary arrangements for the cross-country trip to an operating well

    The Duke arrives at site of tube-well, and is welcomed by Dr. A. G. Ashgar, director of Land Reclamation and Technical Adviser on the tube-well project

    The Duke, wearing a gabardine raincoat because of the drizzling rain, is then shown a series of charts, while Dr. Ashgar points out the various features of the project. There are two or three shots of this from different angles.

    Cut-away; high-angle view of electric overhead transmission line, down pole to Pump House (interior shot of pump house at end of film)

    The Duke chats with a group of cultivators who have been selected to meet him. He asks about the number of acres they own, the crops they plant, the money they earn, their age, the number of children in their families, and so on, and his questions are eagerly answered. The farmers are unanimous in their praise of the benefits derived from the project. There are two or three shots of this from various angles.

    The Duke and his party leave the cultivators and proceed to a closer inspection of the tube-well and pumping equipment

    Cut-away, water flowing down weir from tube-well

    Shot of Duke with Dr. Ashgar near settling basin, with pumphouse on left, as Doctor Ashgar explains operation of the system

    Shot of the Duke looking across green fields, a result of the reclamation project

    Cutaway of a group of peasant farmers, many with bicycles, who have stopped along the way to learn that cause of all the commotion

    Detail shot of interior of pump house, with electric motor driving centrifugal pump (just previous to this, is shown the well-head, with six-inch pipes leading to pump houses)

    Close-up of water discharging into canal from tube-well. Farmers stand on distant bank of canal watching proceedings, while in right background a solitary smokestack belches black smoke from one of the numerous brick baking kilns which dot the surrounding countryside and furnish Lahore with much of its construction material

    Final shots on film are of confused traffic conditions as two-wheeled carts ("tongas") cross a narrow bridge, interspersed with pedestrians and cyclists, as they return home after the epoch-making Ducal visit.


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: West Pakistan is faced with an exceedingly difficult problem in large areas of its agriculture lands: salinity and water-logging. The salinity was caused millions of years ago, when this part of the sub-continent was a gulf of the Arabian sea. The problem of water-logging is of more recent times, and results from seepage extensive network of irrigation canals which have been constructed during the past hundred years. The early canals were "unlined", that is mere earth ditches, and over the years,the water has seeped through the earth, raising the water table to a mere few inches below the surface of the ground. This problem was recognized some time back, and the canal beds are being lined with brick or concrete, but unmeasured damage had already been done.

    It is estimated that nearly two-and-a-half million acres of agricultural land are affected, of which over half a million have gone out cultivation completely, and something like 40,000 acres have to be taken out of production each year. if remedial action is not taken, it is estimated that no land would be available for cultivation in this area by 1989, which, to say the least, is an alarming state of affairs.

    One solution which has been proposed, and for which a pilot plant has been put into operation, is the so-called tube-well project, officially known as the Chuharkana Reclamation Project, located in the Sheikhupura District about 40 miles from Lahore.

    Here a series of tube-wells have been sunk, pumps fitted, and the water fed back into lined canals. This course of action produces two results: the water table is lowered appreciably, thus materially reducing the problem of water-logging, and simultaneously reducing the saline deposits which previously has been drawn to the surface by capillary action of the heat of the sun, leaving the surface of the ground snow-white with salt deposits, in which, of course, no vegetation will grow. The second result is that additional water is made available to the canals for irrigation purposes, and, as the canals are being lined, there is no waste from seepage. The problem is a tremendous one, and the surface has barely been scratched in dealing with it. The Duke, upon hearing of the project expressed a desire to examine a portion of it, so this tour was arranged for him - although it is by no means a hot news story, we thought the implications might be interesting to some of your clients, and have covered it in an imperfect manner, since it is too big a project to tackle in 100 feet and two-hour visit.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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