Sutlej valley project was one of the greatest gift by Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbassi to the State of Bahawalpur. In 1921 Secretary of the State suggested the Sutlej valley project.
According to this project new canals should emit by making dams on three rivers and these canals should supply water to a huge area of the State. These dams are called Head Sulemanki, Head Islam and Head Punjnad.
This project was started in 1922to 1933 and it was divided into four groups. It was started like this that Ferozpur Sulemanki, Islam and punjnad should flow water on permanent and non-permanent basis. The appropriate cost of this project was 33 crores and 31 lacs at the end of 1933 out of which 14 crores were provided by the State of Bahawalpur.Two crores were paid from the treasure of the State and the left amount was paid by taking loan from the government. Due to this project scheme 20 lacs and 75 thousands acers of land out of 51 lacs and 8 thousands were provided with canal water on permanent basis.
The left 30 lacs and 33 thousands of land were populated on non-permanent basis. The canals flowing from Head Punjnad have a good amount of water but the canals flowing from Head Islam and Head Sulemanki have a low amount of water. According to calculations this project has been profitable for the State of Bahawalpur.
Total Income Revenue
From 1924 to 1925: 26 lacs 97 thousands
From 1944 to 1945: 55 lacs 62 thousands
Total Irrigation Income
From 1924 to 1925: 11 lacs 44 thousands
From 1944 to 1945: 74 lacs 18 thousands
Thus in 21 years the total income of the State of Bahawalpur was increased by 91 lac rupees or it increased 238 percent. The production of some special crops was increased by 51 lacs and 50 thousands and its major advantage was the increase in population. Thus the population of the State got doubled and almost 25 lacs of land was converted into agriculture soil. Due to increase in import export new cities, markets and roads were established.
A large area of cholistan which was desert started to get populated because of the supply of water. After a large amount of farmers from Punjab got accommodated here, there was need of establishing new markets. So new markets were established at Sadiq Ganj, Rahim Yar Khan, Liaqutpur, Hasilpur, Chistian, Bahawalnager, Haroonabad, Fortabbass, Yezman, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur. Most of the markets were inaugurated by His Highness himself. Thus the State got a good storage of crops.