Socio-Economic Impact of Sutlej Valley Project (SVP) on Princely State of Bahawalpur: A Historical Review


  • Dr Mian Saeed Ahmad Assistant Professor, Department of Pakistan Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.
  • Asif Usman Lecturer, Department of Pakistan Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.


Agriculture, Demography, Irrigation, Land Settlement


The aim of this study is to highlight the significance of Sutlej Valley Project (SVP), a colonial mega canal colonization scheme launched by the British India in 1922-33, in order to irrigate Punjab, Princely States, Bahawalpur & Bikaner. State Bahawalpur possess princely status in British India from 1748-1947. It had a glorious history with its popular Nawabs. In 1892, Bahawalpur possessed around 50 major & medium canals with a total length of 1800km with population of 6.5 lac. From 1748-1947 it was ruled by twelve Nawabs, who contributed whole heartedly for development and welfare of the State. Nawab Sir Sadiq was visionary leader like others predecessor, Nawab Sadiq was keen for the development work and launched a flagship project, Sutlej Valley Project (SVP) 1922. It was a landmark achievement for the prosperity of the State, specially, in the Socio-Economic & Agro-Economy of the State. Post SVP, Revenue of the State was more than double & agriculture land extends four times. Bahawalpur initiated the SVP by adopting modern canal systems & planned to build in order to cater the needs of people living in desert region including urban & rural areas.