Dress and Ornaments

            Dress --- In the urban areas men wear tahmat  and a shirt, a pair of pyjamas and a shirt  or a piece of pantloons and a shirt in summer and a wollen suit, or a coat, or chaddar in winter. In the rural areas,  men generally wear a tahmat and a shirt or kurta. Among. Bagris and Bishnois, a dhoti and a shirt were commonly worn, but now the dhoti has been replaced by the tahmat. Pagri (turban) is commonly used by men in the villages. The dress of educated persons is practically the same in the urban and rural areas.

            The dress of women in the urban areas varies from a salwar and a shirt, a blouse and a saree to ghagra and a choli. The school-going girls wear a shirt with a salwar a shirt with a pair of churidar-pyjama, a mini-shirt with a pair of bell-bottomed  trousers. The typical dress of women in the Fazlika in tehsil comprising a ghagra (a long skirt reaching the ankles) and a small shirt is fast going out of fashion. In the rural areas, women generally wear a salwar and a shirt. The Bagri and  Bishnoi women wear the ghagra with a choli or a shirt and usually cover their face with an orhani (hearwear). The educated and the school or college-going girls put on the same dress as their counterparts in the urban areas.

            Ornaments --- The old type of ornaments and jewellery for the head, forehead, ears, nose, neck, arms and hands, waist, feet and ankles, of women in the district have not totally become extinct. Some of theses are still worn by women on important occasions. The ornaments now in common use comprise earrings, jhunkas,  topas, a koka for the nose, necklace, a locket, mangal sutra, bangles, karas, rings etc. The ring forms the only ornaments in common use by men. Earrings are still worn by the elderly men in the rural areas. On festive occasions or fairs, kanthas (necklace with large gold covered beads) are worn by the Jats in the rural areas.

            Food – The dietary habits of the people of a certain area are determined by the food items grown there and the habits and the taste of the people. A notable feature of the present trend is that the old difference between the food items, and the habits between the urban and rural people is decreasing day by day. As the staple food,  wheat is fast replacing the coarse cereals, such  as maize, bajra and jowar, among the poorer sections of the people in the rural areas. The urban people, however, take vegetables and fruits more freely, as these are easily available in the urban areas all the year round. Of late. The consumption of rice and confectionery including biscuits, bread, etc. is increasing. Sweets are taken by all, according to their means and tastes, especially on festivals. The vegetable oil has to a great extent replaced ghree as a cooking medium. The well-to-do people, however, use partly ghee and partly vegetable  oil. The use of meat and eggs is  on the increase, though certain sections of the people may abstain from these items of food on religious grounds. Smoking and consumption of liquor are also on  the increase.

            Tea and coffee have replaced milk and lassi (buttermilk). In summer, people take soft drinks, such as aerated water, syrup, shikanjbin (lemon-juice mixed with sweetened water). The use of ice has become very common.

(iv) Communal Life

Fairs and Festivals --- The cultural heritage of the people is reflected in their fairs and festivals which trace their origin from some religious beliefs and are based on a spontaneous mass appeal. There is a chain of functions, fairs and festivals, all the year around, among the Hindus, The Sikhs, the jains, etc. Some of them signify the change of seasons and celebrate the anniversaries of incarnations of God, gurus, saints and notable personages. Lohri, Basant, Shivartri. Holi and Hola, Baisakhi, Dussehra, Diwali, etc. are the main festivals. The Sikhs also celebrate the births and martyrdom days of the Gurus.  Besides common festivals, the Jains celebrates the birth anniversaries of Tirthan-karas (prophets), particularly those of Parshvanath and Mahavira.

The Muslim calendar is based on the movements of the moon round the earth. Therefore their festivals rotate throughout the year. There are tow festivals, viz. Id-ul-Fitr (the  of the breaking of the Ramazan fasts) and Id-ul-Ziha (festivals of sacrifice). The Christians celebrate the festivals of the New Year Day, Good Friday, Faster and Christmas.

The Republic Day (26th January) and the Independence Day (15th August) are observed as common national days of rejoicing all over the country.

Apart from the above mentioned fairs and festivals, the following local fairs are celebrated in the District.


Serial    Name  and   Place       Date                        Remarks No.


1.      Shahidi Mela at Mari                  March           To commemorate the martyrdom

Mistafa                                                                                     of the warriors of the first                     Anglo-Sikh war (1845-46)


2.      Shahidi Mela at the                   23 March       To pay homage to Mar tyrs

         Martyr’s Memorial                                            Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev near

the Hussainiwala and Rajguru,    who were cremated on the bnk of Saluj on 23 March 1930.


3.      Baisakhi at the Mar-                   13 April        Rural mela of the Punjab farmers

        trs’ Memorial on the                                        on the eve of harvesting the wheat

        right bank of the                                               crop.



4.      Shahidi Mela at Sara-                           12 September    A fair to pay homage to 21

        garhi, Firozpur cant-                                                        Sikh jawans of the Sikh

        onment.                                            Regiment, who died fighting            to the end while defending the Saragarhi Fort in Wazirastan on 12 Sept-ember 1887.


5.      Shahidi Mela at                          22 December     A fair to pay homage to the

Ferozeshah                             5,000 brave Punjabis who                                   laid down their lives

                                                  while fighting agaisnt the

                                                  British during the First Anglo

                                                 -Sikh War on 22 December




Games, Sports and Recreations --- Games and recreations are essential for the proper physical development of the young and the old alike. The commonest games among the children are guli-danda, khudo-khundi, hide-and-seek, glass balls (batans), etc. Football, volleyball, hockey, cricket, badminton, tennis, etc. are played by the school and college going boys and girls. The indoors games include the playing-cards, carom-board, table-tennis, ludo, etc. the grown-up among the villagers play kabaddi, saunchi, have wrestling bouts, etc.  The  Bhangra dance is also popular in the rural areas. It is also performed in schools and colleges at important functions. In the villages, bards and dhadis provide entertainment by reciting ballads are popular love romances.

Dramas and cultural shows are held by local dramatic clubs in the towns. Ramlila is also staged for nine days before Dussehra.  Cinema has become a common source of entertainment among all classes of people high and low and young and old.

Folk-songs and Cultural Life --- The ideas and sentiments of the people are expressed through folk-songs which reveal the different facets of like in a certain area. These are sung on different occasions. Some of the fold-songs are common throughout the Punjab. A few folk-songs,  peculiar to this District, are given below :-


Sithni (on the  occassion of marriages)

Sade tan vehre mudh makai dai

Dane tan Mangda undhal gai da

Bhathi tan tapdi nahin

Bhati tan tapdi nahin, nilajyo


      Sade tan vehre tana taninda

Larre da peo kana suninda

Aenak launi pai, nilajyo

Laj tuhonu nahi


Kuri tan saadi tile di tar ae

Munda tan disda ko ghumiar ae

     Jori tan phabdi nahin

     Jori tan phabdi nahin, nilajyo

     Laj tuhanu nahin


Chhe mahine sunyar bathaya

Chandi de gehne te pani pharaya

Pittal paona saai,

Pittal paona saai, nilajyo

Laj tuhanu nahin.


Purane gehne te rang jharaya

Saadi te bibi de pasand na aya

Naven gharaune saai

Naven gharaune saai, nilajyo

Laj tuhanu nahin



Chheti chheti yekke nun, assan yar di tareeke jana

Mere yakke ne matak nal turna, kahli aen tan rail charh ja


Uchche tibbe main bhande manjan, utton rirh gai thali

Kaid kara deongi, maini deputy di sali

Kaid karan deongi .......................................


Hal chhadke ke chari nun jana, jat di joon buri



Chal chaliae Chirak de mele, munda tera main chuk laoon



Jat mar giya kamainyan karda, ni aje tere band na bane



Meri rondi na varaie Karatro, kee bhora ladduan da


English Translation


In our courtyard, there is a stalk of the maize plant.

The son of the one who has eloped with her paramour asks for grains,

      But the parching furnace does not heat up,

      O you shameless, why

      did you not feel ashamed ?


In our courtyard, the weaving thread is being processed.

We learn that the bridegroom’s father in one-eyed.

It is why he uses glasses,

O you shameless, why did you not feel ashamed ?


For as long as six  months, you kept a goldsmith engaged to get the silver ornaments gold-plated Brass (ornaments) had better been offere3d, O you shameless, Why did you feel ashamed?


      You got the old ornaments polished,

      But our daughter did not like them;

     You ought to have prepared new ones, O you shameless,



Drive the ekka fast; I am to appear as a witness for my lover in the Court

My ekka has to move at its own moderate and graceful speed;

If you are in a hurry, board the train.



      I was cleaning my utensils on a mound, from which a salver rolled down,

I shall get you imprisoned, I am a sister-in-law of the Deputy Commissioner.

I shall get you imprisoned………………………..



After ploughing, he has to go for cutting the chari (sorghum) fedder, the lot of a Jat is indeed hard.



Let us go to the Chirak Fair, I will carry your child.



Although the Jat (as a tiller of the soil) toiled himself to death, so meagre are the returns from agriculture that a Jat, addressing his wife says ruefully :

“Although I have toiled myself to death, yet I have not been able to save even so little as to be able to get a pair of gold bracelets prepared for you”.



No one came forward to comfort my crying (daughter) Kartaro even with a little  laddus (a very common item of confectionery)


(e) Rehabilitation

The communal riots, which accompanied the partition of the country in 1947, compelled the minority commu9nities on both sides of the border to leave their ancestral homes. After r15 August 1947, people started migrating by trains, bullock-carts and other kinds of vehicles, and even on  foot, carrying with them essential portable household items, ready cash and valuable. At many places, the trains and carvans were looted  and the helpless migrants were killed in thousands.  The Firozpur District, situated as it is on the border of Pakistan, the refugees poured into it from the sides of Hussainiwala, Jalalabad, Fazilka and Abohar. They belonged mostly to the Lahore and Montgemery  districts and the Bahalwapur State. To begin the refugees were housed in camps at different  places where they were provided with feed, shelter, clothing, bedding, medical aid, etc. Soon after, steps were taken to rehabilitate the rural and urban people by making available to them the means to pursue their respective occupation.

Temporary Allotment of Land --- At first, temporary allotment of the evacuee agricultural land was made to the displaced persons soon after their arrival in the District. Loans were advanced for purchasing bullocks, agricultural implements, etc. The displaced persons, depending up0on agriculture, were asked to approach the tehsil authorities in groups in which they desired to live in the villages. All those who were either landowners or cultivators or had been at any time cultivating land in Pakistan, were eligible for the allotment of land. The3 allotment was subject to the payment of land revenue cesses and water rates and of rent, if any, due from the evacuee owners.

Quasi-permanent Allotment of Land—Displaced persons from the districts of Montgomery and Lahore, besides their own colonists were settled in the Firozpur District. The temporary allotment of land made before April 1948, was replaced by the quasi-permanent allotment with a view to giving a sense of permanence to the allottees. For this purpose, those possessing agricultural land in Pakistan were required to file their claims. These claims were verified from the records obtained from the Pakistan Government on reciprocal basis. Thereafter, land as allotted on a quassi-permanent basis. The land left by the Muslim evacuees in the East Punjab was barely 62 cent of the area left in  Pakistan by the non-Muslim migrants. A formula of graded cuts, was therefore, evolved, whereby the small landowners were affected less and the bigger landlords were subjected to drastic cuts.

Besides, taccavi loans were advanced for purchasing bullocks, agricultural implements, fodder, seeds, tractors, for installing tube-wells, and for repairing wells and houses. As far as possible, loans were advanced in kind to eliminate misuse. The total amount of loans thus  advanced in the District (including the Moga and Muktsar tehsils transferred to the Faridkot District in 1972), from 1947-48 to 1953-54, was Rs. 67,20,320.

Conferment of Propriety Rights :-  Started in 1955-56, the work of transferring permanent proprietary rights to the quassi-permanent allottees of agricultural land was completed in 1963-64.

Garden Colonies—The Garden Colonies Scheme, which was a part of the general rural resettlement plan, helped the  Goverment to add more area to that already under gardens. These colonies were established in II out of then 13 district of the Punjab on fertile blocks of evacuee lands on the roadside. Each allottee was given either a unit of 20 acres or half a unit of 10 acre. Allotment in the Garden Colonies was made in lieu of the area allottable under  the quasi-permanent allotment scheme. Those who received allotments in the Garden Colonies had this area deducted from their total allotments. Provision was made in these colonies for all modern facilities, such as tractors and power-spraying for the saving the  fruit trees from insect pests and diseases, sanitary houses on modern lines, community dining-balls, schools, crèches for children, dispensaries, guesthouses, clubs and  reading-rooms.

            Two such Garden Colonies were set up in the Firozpur District as under :-

Tehsil              Name of colony            Area                The number

                                                             In acres            of allottees

Fazlika            Balluana                      1,021               55

Zira                  Jalalabad                         548                  26

            Rural Housing :-  Every allottee, who was holding more than one allottable house or site was to be allowed to retain one house and one site free of cost. All other houses of sites were to be offered to the allottees on sale at the reserve price, provided those were surplus to the requirements  of the other land allottees of the village. In the event of their refusal to purchase the extra houses or sites, these were to be retrieved and put to  auction through the Tehsildar, Sales. The rent with respect to surplus properties was also to be recovered from the allottees from the date of allottment to the date of cancellation.

All houses up to the value of Rs. 10,000, allotted up to 31 December, 1957, to the non-claimant displaced persons and to the non-displaced  persons were to be transferred to them at the reserve price and, in the event of their refusal to purchase  them, these were disposed of in open auction, if not required for allotment to the unsatisfied claimants. Houses, which were being used for common purposes, were transferred to the village  panchayats at the reserve price plus the up-to-date rent, if they so liked otherwise, these were put to auction.

Houses up the value of Rs. 1,000, originally belonging to the Muslim labourers and artisan and which were occupied by Harijans and the members of the Backward Classes, were transferred to them at a  concesional rate of Rs. 20 each for the superstructure and at Rs. 10 for the site beneath , if the land also belonged to the evacuee laboureres. Each family was to get only one house at the concessional rate, whereas all other houses in its possession were to be transferred to it at the reserve price.

        The house, surplus to the requirement of land allottees or which were not purchased by their occupants, were put to open auction. Plots given to the agricultural labourers and artisan for building purposes in the model villages were transferred to them are Rs. 10 per site. Similarly, plots allotted to shopkeepers in these villages were transferred to them at the reserve price.

Urban Rehabilitation

            Advancing of Loans – The problem of setting the urban class of refugees was more difficult and complicated than that of the rural migrants. These refugees comprised professionals, artisans, traders, shopkeepers and those engaged in industry. The Government of India granted loans to persons intending to start their own workshops, cottage industries, factories, etc. and other professionals, such as vaids, hakims, homeopaths, lawyers, etc. These loan were advanced by the authorities of the district in which the persons decided to settle. The advance was free of interest for the first year and at the rate of 3 per cent for the subsequent years.

            In the Firozpur District (including the Moga and Muktsar tehsils) Rs. 19,3,31,252 was advanced as small urban loans to the displaced persons during 1948-49 to 1956-57 under the East Punjab Refugees Rehabilitation (Loans and Grants) Act, 1948.

Allotment of Immovable Property --- The Government also under to : k to rehabilitate the urban population. The properties left by the Muslims evacuees in the urban areas were taken over as evacuee properties under the Punjab Evacuee Ordinance  IV  of 1947, later replaced by the Evacuee Property Act, 1950. The available houses, shops, etc were allotted to the displaced persons on temporary basis. The permanent allotment disposal  began in 1953-54. The properties of the value less than Rs. 10,000 (Rs. 50,000 in the case of industrial establishments) were allotable, whereas properties above Rs. 10,000 were disposed by auction.

            Grant of Compensation :-  Another important work was the grant of compensation by the Government to the displaced persons for the urban immovable properties left by the them in Pakistan. Under the Displaced Persons Claims Act, 1950, steps were taken to verify claims with respect to these properties.

To avoid unnecessary delay, an  Inerim  Compensation was sanctioned in 1953. Under this scheme, payments were made to certain high priority categories of displaced persons, including those drawing maintenance allowance, disable persons and T.B patients. The payment of compensation actually started  from 1954.

The Interim Compensation Scheme was later on replaced by the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954. A final  scale for payment of compensation was approved under that Act in 1955. This scale was  so devised as to pay proportionately more to the smaller  claimants and less to the bigger claimants. Under the scheme, application were invited in 1955 from all the remaining claimants who had  not  been compensated on priorty basis. By 1964, 97-1/2 per cent of the cases were settled.



On the partition of the country in 1947, the educational institutions in the Province were closed for housing  in their buildings the refugees who came from Pakistan. The  schools and college were , thus ultilised by the Rehabilitation Department till the time the refugees could be  settled or concentrated in camps. Since there was an acute  shortage of social workers, employees or volunteers, the school and college-going boys and girls were deputed for social service. They were to perform multifarious duties in the camps from dawn to dusk with a missionary zeal. Their education was, however, not considered disrupted and matriculation certificates and higher degrees were conferred on the students  who had served in the camps for at least three months. Those who did not avail themselves of this concession  were given exemption from one subject in the examination . The candidates, who had not performed any social service, had to appear in the examination held by the Punjab University.

The Schools and colleges opened throughout the Punjab State in March 1948. the academic year was to end in September 1948, after which the next session commenced and it ended in March 1949. This was done with a view to avoiding the loss of an academic year. This arrangement also affected the local population equally.

No fees were charged in the schools. The examination fees charged were also returned to the students. Regular grants were given to poor students. In colleges, the refugee students were given  loans to enable  in the case of students admitted to the professional and technical institutions. The loans were to be repaid in easy installments after the completion of the courses of studies. The deserving and intelligent students were granted liberal stipends.



Displaced persons from Pakistan who on the partition the of country in 1947, settled in the Firozpur District (including the Moga and Muktsar tehsils, transferred to Faridkot District in 1972)

District of origin                Person             Males               Females


Lahore                         1,22,224          66,207             56,017                        

Sialkot                          2,042               1,264               778

Gujranwala                   3,495               1,908               1,587

Sheikhupura                 11,090             5,986               5,104

Gujrat                           992                  551                  441

Shahpur                        3,305               1,032               1,973

Jhelum                          703                  339                  364

Rawalpindi                   1,052               389                  663

Attock                          1,194               306                  888

Mianwali                      1,506               795                  721

Montgomery                 1,44,022          76,779             67,243

Lyallpur                        17,960             9,576               8,381

Jhang                            737                  311                  426

Multan                          7,475               3,961               3,514

Muzaffargarh                796                  433                  363

Dera Ghazi Khan    1,622               831                  791     

Baluch Frontier Tract    4                      --                     4

Gurdaspur(Shakar-      158            117            41

garhTehsil transferred

toPakistan in 1947)


Dadu                            193                  122                  71

Hyderabad                   88                    77                    11


District of origin                Person             Males               Females


Karachi                        327                  263                  64

Larkana                        11                    6                      5                     

Nawabshah                  402                  283                  119

Sukkur                         20                    1                      19

upper Singh Frontier            333                  143                  190

Hazara                         31                    11                    20

Mardan                        18                    12                    6

Peshawar                     642                  410                  232                 

Kohat                           156                  58                    98

Bannu                           150                  75                    75

Dera Ismail Khan    187                  125                  62

Quetta                          232                  140                  92

Lora Lai                       15                    13                    2

Zhob                            9                      9                      --

Bulan                            11                    11                    --

Chagai                          59                    59                    --

Sibi                              55                    54                    1

Kalat                            3                      3                      --

Kharan                         14                    14                    --

Bahawalpur                  34,030             19,315             14,715            

Tippera                        13                    1                      12                   

Rajshahi                       1                      1                      --

Pabna                           534                  534                  --

Dacca                          11                    --                     11


District of origin                Person             Males               Females

Faridpur                       3                      3                      --                    

Noakhli                        2                      2                      --        

Silhet                            1                      1                      --

Baluchistan                   17                    17                    --

Sind                             686                  367                  319

Total                           3,58,341            1,92,918            1,65,423

Census of India, 1951, Pb. District Census Hand Book, Volume II Firozpur District, D-V-,p. elxvi)





(a) Land Reclamation and Utilization

(i) Land Utilisation  --- The utilization of land in a region or  a particular area depends largely  upon its physical, cultural and economic environments. It is governed by such factor as the configuration of land, amount and distribution of rainfall, fertility of the soil, density of population and dietary habits of the people, number and types of draught and domestic animals, agricultural practices followed, stage of industrial development, transport facilities and demand for its produce. Any change in these factors results in a corresponding change in land utilization.

The following table gives the classification of the area by land use in the Firozpur District during 1972-73 to 1978-79 :

Classification of area by land use in the Firozpur District, 1972-73 to 1978-79 :

(Thousand hectares)


Particulars    1972-73    1973-74     1974-75     1975-76    1976-77   1977-78    1978-79 1979-80


1.      Total area

according to      

village papers   586           586            586           586            586         586             586              586     


2.Area under

forests                7                 7                 7             7              6              7                  6                   7 


3. Land not


for culti-

vation               47              46               46          44              46            45                45                45


4. other uncluti-

vated land excluding

fallow land   27              25               25           24            24             25                25                 24


5. Fallow

 land               26              25              42            26             30             25               23                 25           


6. Net Area

Sown            479          483             466         485            480            484              487               485


7. Area

Sown more

than once  145         166            154           226            225            224               265               247


8. Total cropped

area (6*7)  624        649            620           711            705          708                752               732              


(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1973 to 1980)

Area not available for cultivation comprises absolutely barren and uncultivable land and land put to non-agricultural uses, such as land under buildings, roads and canal. The total area of such land in the District was 45 thousand hectares in 1978-79. Other uncultivated land, excluding  fallow land, comprises cultivated land, excluding the fallow land, comprises cultivable wastes, grazing-land and land under tree groves, not included under the area sown.

Land is termed as ‘cultivated’ if it has been sown even once during the previous  four harvests. The cultivated are thus comprises the follow land and the net  area sown. Such land in the District measured 510 thousand hectares in 1978-79.

(ii) Cultivable Waste --- the cultivable waste land includes all lands available for cultivation, but not taken up for cultivation or abandoned after a few years for one reason or another. Such land may be fallow for more than 5 years and may be covered with shrubs and jungles. It may be assessed  or unassessed and may lie in isolated patches or blocks or among cultivated holdings. The land reserved for pastures is not included under this head. The total area of such land in s the District was 25 thousand hectares  in 1978-79.

Most of cultivable waste is the village common land, which is in the possession of the village panchayat. Some of the panchayats have started direct cultivation, but still large area remain uncultivated and are being used by the villagers for grazing their cattle. The panchayats are trying  to bring such land under cultivation and, to facilitate its cultivation, loans, are advanced by the Government to the panchayats for purchasing tractors and agricultural implements and for sinking wells and tubewells.


(iii) Reclamation of Waterlogged Areas, Swamps, etc. --- Canal irrigation is a mixed blessing and suffers from a serious defect. An abundant supply of water from the canals for irrigation not only leads to the waste of water, but also causes waterl ogging and infestation with salts in several areas,  especially on both sides of the canals. The heavy rains during 1955 and 1958 also caused waterlogging on a wide scale in the Zira, Firozpur and Fazilka tehsil. Waterlogging renders land unfit for cultivation. The problem was very acute in the beginning, but it has lessened to a great extent through the digging of drains by the Government to drain away the surplus water.

The area under thus (salinity) and sem (waterlogging) in the District during 1973 to 1980 is given below :


                                                           For Rabi Crop

Year                            -------------------------------------           

                                                  Thur               Sem             Total

1973                            5,073           29                5,102          

1974                            5,062           2                  5,064

1975                            5,172           2                  5,174

1976                            5,331           2                  5,333

1977                            5,287           2                  5,289

1978                            5,299           2                  5,301

1979                            5,294           1,005           6,299  

1980                            5,682           2,787           8,469


(Source: Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab)



(i) Rainfall  --- Rainfall in India is erratic, with a considerable variation  not only in the year-to-year distribution, but also during the  year and with regard to the quantity, incidence and duration.

In the Firozpur District, the rainfall varies between wide limits. There is a marked tendency for the rainfall to decrease as one progresses westwards. the monsoon generally does not commence till the end of June, most of the rainfall occurs in July and August and the early monsoon and the early monsoon showers are often extremely local . The important September rains are uncertain, especially in the western part of the District. Usually,  there is but little rain between the beginning of October and the end of December, but about 2.28 centimeters of it usually falls in January and February.. The rainfall , especially in the form of winter rains and the early monsoon showers, is often very local.

Variations in the timings of rainfall affect the sowing and the harvesting of crops, particularly those of the crops of the kharif season. A fair amount of rainfall towards the end of June or in the beginning of July leads to an all-around sowing activity. A failure of rains in the second half of July  and also in August, followed by that in September, leads to the crops being scorched by sun. However, with the extension of irrigation facilities after Independence, the failure of corps for want of rains in the District is becoming a thing of the past. The following table gives the rainfall in the Firozpur District during 1973 to 1979:

Rainfall in the Firozpur District during to 1979


                                                            Rainfall during the months of

Year                Annual                                    -----------------------------------------------


                        (cm)                 July            August       September       October

                                                 (cm)     (cm)             (cm)                (cm)


1973                53.16               13.80     17.73          2.80                 1.22

1974                17.20               5.78        5.28           0.66                   --

1975                34.97               9.49        10.04          5.52                  0.49

1976                76.38               9.40         41.64        15.00                  --

1977                 46.48              9.38          6.58         12.70                  --

1978                     --                     --               --                      --                     --

1979                38.65               9.70          8.25         8.10                   0.02

                                    (Statistical Abstracts of Punjab 1974 to 1980)  


Irrigation Facilities --- The handicap resulting from inadequate and uncertain rainfall necessitates irrigation by artificial means for sowing, growing and proper maturing of the crops or for increasing their yields. Recourse is, thus, had to the river canals --- Know as major irrigation—and the utilization of subsoil water through percolation wells, tube-wells and pumping-sets ---known as minor irrigation. Irrigation has, therefore, been given top priority in the country’s programme of planned development since 1951. In 1979-80, the area irrigated by canals and wells was 49.1  and 49.3 per cent respectively of the net area sown in  the District. the major source of irrigations, therefore, wells, including percolation wells, tube-wells and pumping-sets, closely followed by canals.

The following table shows the area irrigated in the District from different source of irrigation, during 1972-73 to 1979-80 :

Net area under irrigation in Ferozpur District, 1972-73 to 1979-80.

                                                                        (Thousand Hectares)


Source     1972-73    1973-74     1974-75     1975-76    1976-77   1977-78    1978-79           1979-80



Canals      198.4        196.3      196.3       229.9    229.1     246.1      213.3       214.0  

Wells         143.7        145.6      145.6       139.8    141.5    150.0       190.9      215.0

Other          1.5            1.5          1.5           0.3        0.7        0.3           0.4          0.5


Total          343.6         343.4       343.4     370.0     371.3     396.4      404.6      429.5

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1974 to 1980)



The three main canal irrigation systems in the District systems in the District are: Sirhind Canal System, Grey Canal System and Eastern Canal System. Each of these in under a superintending engineer, assisted by a number of executive engineers and subdivisional engineers. All these systems emanate from the Satluj.

Sirhind Canal System  --- This is the oldest  system and takes its supply from the Rupnagar Headworks. Previously, the channels of this system used to irrigate the areas between Ludhiana and Fazilka on the left side of the Bikaner Canal. Subsequently, owing to the construction of the Sirhind Feeder, some parts of the Abohar Branch, Bathinda Branch and a number of distributaries, off taking from this system, have been transferred to the Sirhind Feeder, which takes its supply from the Harike Headworks and irrigates Fazlika and Abohar area lying to be the east of the Bikaner Canal. The area falling on the north-east of Sirhind Feeder gets supplies through Abohar Branch Upper, and Bathinda Branch of Siirhind Canal System.

Grey Canal System --- The Grey Canals were originally inundation channels carrying water from the Satluj for irrigating intermittent patches where irrigation could be possible, mostly adjoining the River. Some of these channels have been linked with the Sidhwan Branch. the remaining inundation channels have been remodelled and renamed as Makhu Canal System, fed by the Makhu Canal, off-taking from the Harike Head Works. This system now covers the Zira Tehsil, except the portion which has been taken up by the Sikhwan Branch, and a part of the Firozpur Tehsil. The Firozpur Feeder also offtakes from the Harike Headworks.

The Butewah Distributary and the Barneswah Distributary (offtaking from Makhu Canal) and Mayawah Distributary and Sodhi Nagar (Sultan Khanwala) Distributary (offtaking from Firozpur Feeder) were collectively called the Grey Canal System. Previously, these channels used to run during the rainy season only, but now they get regular non-perennial supply.

Eastern Canal System --- It serves the area between the Bikaner Canal and the Satluj River, extending from the Firozpur Headworks to the Sulemanki Headworks. No irrigation is being done in the Punjab from the Bikaner Canal, as it is meant for irrigating the areas falling in the Rajasthan State. The Eastern Canal irrigates some area of the Firozpur and Fazlika tehsils.


As assured irrigation is the key to agricultural production, the State Government has assigned top priority to the  to the tapping of underground water through wells, tube-wells and pumping-sets. These minor irrigation works are more dependable and can profitably be extended to areas beyond the reach of canal irrigation. Moremore, such works help to  r3educe waterlogging by keeping down the subsoil water-table. The number of tub-wells and pumping-stets and percolation well in the District is given below :-


Item                                                                    72-73         1975-76         1979-80

Tube-wells and pumping-sets                3,678           4,255           9,042


Percolation wells                                                      4,132           4,132           4,312

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1976, 1978 and 1980)


(c) Agriculture, including Horticulture

(i) Set-up and activities of the Department of Agricultural— the Department of Agriculture is represented in the District by the Chief Agricultural Officer, Firozpur, who is under the control of the Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Chandigarh. The Chief Agricultural Officer is overall in charge of the entire agricultural operations in the District. He is wholly responsible for preparing and executing agricultural plans in the District and is assisted by 12 agricultural officer, 52 agricultural inspectors and 45 agricultural Sub inspectors, besides ministerial and class IV staff.

To look after plant protection work, an assistant plant protection officer is posted at Abohar under the direct control of the Deputy Director (Locust control and Plant Protection), Punjab, Chandigarh. He is assisted by 4 plant-protection inspectors, posted at Abohar, Zira, Fazlika and Firozpur.

Three assistant soil-conservation officers are posted at Firozpur, Fazilka and Zira. Their work is supervised by the Divisional Soil conservation Officer, Firozpur. Besides, 15 agricultural inspectors/soil conservation inspectors are posted all over the District to attend to the soil conversation work. In addition to these, a circle office4 headed by the Conservator of Soils is  also located at Firozpur.

(ii) Intensive Agricultural District Programme—The Intensive  Agricultural District Progaramme (IADP), which was initiated in India, in the early sixties, was the first organized experiment on a scale, large enough to introduce such a modernizing process in India. Unlike the older Community Development Programme, the IADP  was designed specially to promote a rapid increase in the yields of foodgrain crops  and to show how this could be achieved through work in one selected district in one selected district in each  of India’s States. Its major emphasis was, therefore, on the cultivator and not—as in the Community Development Programme—on the village  as a whole. The support for the IADP came from the Government of India, assisted by the Ford Foundation, the US-AID, the Co-opertive  League of America, and the government agencies from Japan, West Germany and Demnark.

The Intensive  Agricultural District Programme, Thus, envisages to accelerate the pace of a/agricultural development by concentrating financial, technical and administrative resource in the potential areas by securing a proper co-ordination of various agencies concerned with agricultural production. The main object of this programme is to increase agricultural  production so as to provide more food for the increasing population. The programme also aims at providing the cultivator with all the necessary inputs he needs at the right time and in sufficient quantities for increasing the productivity  of his farm.

The Punjab Government extended the Int4ensive Agricultural District Programme during 1971-72 to the districts of Firozpur and Sangrur. originally, this programme was started in the Ludhiana District in April 1961 as a pilot programme to learn and demonstrate how the rate of agricultural development could be accelerated. The IADP, Ludhiana has shown that the so-called tradition-bound Indian farmer is ready to adopt innovations. It has also demonstrated that the dependence of agriculture on nature can be shifted towards a sure and stable process by adopting scientific methods.

Under the Intensive Agricultural District Programme, the Pilot Project Officer was put in charge of the Department at the district level. In the Firozpur District, he was re-designated as the Chief Agricultural Officer with effect from 11 February 1972.

(iii) Soils, Climate and Crops—the cropping pattern of an area is based on its sill and climate. The crops, which suit a particular type of soil and climate, are sown there. The present trend is, however, to sow high-yielding and more paying crops.

Soils—The soils of Firozpur are mostly sandy loam and definitely alkaline. Some of them are fairly  right in total potash, phosphoric acid and nitrogen.

Three types of soil are found in the District, as detailed below:

Bet Land—The bet land extends along the Satluj River in the form of a belt, starting right from the place the River enters the Firozpur District near Makhu in the Zira Tehsil and ends near Fazlika towards the Sulemanki Headworks. This belt is about 5 to 10 km in width and 160 km in length, covering partially the Zira, Firozpur and Fazilkla tehsils of District. This belt comprises two types of soils, viz. clayey soils and clayey-loam soils. Patches of kallar are also seen here and there in this area.

Clayey soils are very hard and sloppy, when wet, with  heavy weed infestation particularly with sarkanda and the khabhai grass.  This type of land is very fertile and grows very good crops, such as rice, sugar-cane, wheat and the kharif and rabi fodders, such as charhi (sorghum), maize and berseem. The main irrigation system is of seasonal canals, but the means of minor irrigation also exist.

The clayey-loam soils have generally been formed where the River dropped its silt by overflowing its banks during the rainy season. These soils are very fertile and grow all sorts of crops, including wheat, gram, barely, berseem during the rabi season and sugarcane, sotton, paddy and and charhi during the kharif season.

(2)  Maira Land—the maira land is neither clayey nor sandy.  In the soils of his type of land, there is usually an equally proportion of sand and clay. In the Firozpur District, these  soils are mainly fond in the Fazilka Theshil. This belt is situated bestrewn the sandy belt lying along Rajasthan and the Hisar District (Hayrnana) on the one side towards the south and the bet belt of the Satluj River towards the north on the other side. This belt is considered to be the heart of the District and is mainly irrigated by the perennial canals running form the Rupnagar and Harike Headworks.

(3) Sandy or ‘Tibba’ Soils --- This belt of land is situated along with border of Rajasthan and the Hisar District. The land is mainly sandy and is poor in fertility. Most of the crops in this tract depend upon rain for their growth. The main crops grown are gram, barely and taramira in the rabi and jawar, bajra guara during the kharif.


            Major and Subsidiary Corps – There are two main growing seasons, viz kharif and rabi, locally named sawni and harhi. The kharif season cover the summer months an the crops grown during this  period are harvested in the autumn. The rabi season covers the winder  months and the crops grown  during this period are harvested in the spring. In between these two  main seasons, additional crops are raised where conditions permit. These are  known as zaid kharif and raid rabi crops. Torai is a zaid kharif crop, whereas tobacco, onion, spring potato and early jawar are zaid rabi crops.

The principal kharif crops are paddy, cotton, maize and sugarcane, whereas the minor ones or subsidiary crops are vegetables, such as tomato, water-melon, brinjal, lady’s finger (bhindi), kharif pulses and fruits. The principal rabi crops are wheat, gram, barely and berseem, whereas the minor rabi crops are rabi oilseeds (sarson, taramira, alsi and toria) and winter vegetables, such as peas, cabbage, turnip, carrot and lobia.

            Cotton (desi and American) is the main cash crop in the District and the farmers are bringing more and more area under its cultivation.

            Detailed particulars regarding the area under different crops and their total production in the District from 1972-73 to 1979-80 are given in Appendices I and II at the end of the chapter.



            Wheat is an important major rabi crop of the District. The sowing of the crop begins as early as the third week of October and continues up to the end of December. The crop is mainly sown in November. It requires about 4 to 5 months to mature and is harvested in April. When there is an abrupt change in the weather, the crop matures early and is harvested early.


            Paddy is an important kharif crop; it is a semi-aquatic plant, requiring an abundant supply of water for its growth. It is mainly grown in Zira, Firozpur and in some parts of Fazilka, which are waterlogged to a considerable extent. Its nursery is sown in May and June and in transplanted in the end of June and in the beginning of July.


            Bajra is the major kharif crop. It is sown between the end of June and the beginning of July and is harvested in October-November. It is mostly cultivated in the Fazilka Tehsil.


            Maize is also an important major kharif crop. It is generally sown during June to August and is harvested in October-December.


            Cotton is an important kharif crop of the District and is sown between April and May and is harvested between October and December. The Firozpur District is associated with the cultivation of cotton, chiefly with that of the long-staple cotton which is known is local parlance as Amrikan kapah. The soil and climate of the District are very much suited to this crop and its cultivation received a great fillip after the country’s partition in 1947, when it became deficit in this commodity. Cotton (desi) is sown a bit earlier and is also picked earlier, whereas the American cotton is picked later.

Sorghum (Chari)

            Sorghum is a fodder crop and is sown from the middle of March to the end of July. Its harvesting starts from May and continues till December. It is ready to be used as a fodder about a month and a half after sowing.


                        Barley is also an important major crop. It is sown from the middle of September to the end of December and is harvested in the first fortnight of April. It is raised either alone or mixed with other crops. It can be used as a fodder after the middle of March.


            The pulses grown in the District are gram, moong, mash, moth and masar. The most important of them all is gram which is sown as a rabi crop at the end of the rainy season in the beginning of October.


            Berseem or Persian elover is a rabi fodder crop and is sown from the middle of September to the middle of October and its cuttings are taken till the end of June.


            Sugarcane is a long-duration crop, occupying the land for 10-12 months, subject to the variations necessitated by local conditions, rainfall, irrigation facilities, climate, etc. It is planted from the middle of February to the middle of March and is harvested between December and April. It is not an important crop in the District and is grown mostly in the bet areas.


            Rape and mustard are the most important oilseeds grown in the Fazilka Tehsil of the District.

              Vegetables --- To augment the production of vegetables in the District, the Department of Agriculture has posted one Agricultural Inspector (Vegetables) at Abohar to guide the farmers in vegetables-growing and to make necessary arrangements for vegetable seeds. Demonstration plots of different kinds of vegetable have been set up in selected villages to demonstrate the superior performance of good-quality seeds. Training camps are organized in different block to train the farmers in vegetable – farming.

             The area under vegetables has increased considerably, because of the ceiling on land holdings and because of the increase in facilities with respect to irrigation. A rise in the sale price of celery has also increased the area under it. Vegetables are, in fact, the most paying crops for small farmers.

          The total area under vegetables in the District in 1979-80 was about 2,112 hectares. Almost all the vegetables of the plains, as detailed below are sown in the District :

          Summer Vegetables  --- Chilies (mirch, lady’s finger (bhindi), bottle-gourd (ghia kaddu), vegetable-marrow (chappan kaddu), squash melon (tinda), bitter-gourd (kerala), pumpkin (halwa kaddu), sponge-gour ( ghia or kali tori), ash-gourd (petha), musk-melon (sarda kharbuja), water-melon (tarbuz), long-melon (tar) tomato (tamatar), arum (arbi), sweet patato (shakarkandi), and brinjal (baingan), long and round.

           Winder Vegetables --- Potato (alu), cauliflower ( phul gobhi), cabbage (band gobhi) , knol khol, (gandh gobhi) peas (matar), radish (muli), turni (shalgam), carrot (gajar), spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), onion (piaz) and garlic (lasan).

            Fruit Crops and Gardens --- As the overwhelming majority of the people in India partake chiefly of the vegetarian diet, the cultivation of fruits is considered to be great importance. The food value of fruits has been  recognized well and the fruits have become an essential part of a complete or a balanced diet. Fruits are generally rich in carbohydrates and proteins, which are essential for the maintenance of life and for the growth proteins, which are essential for the maintenance of life and for the growth  of the body. They  are also very rich in vitamins which directly influence the metabolism and growth of the body.

             Citrus in the Firozpur District occupies the largest area under fruits in the State. Of late, grape cultivation has also become popular. The Abohar Sub-Tehsil is particularly suitable for grapes on account of the  dry climate and the late onset of monsoon  rains. The are under fruits in the District during 1979-80, was about 8,417 hectares.

            The amount of loans advanced for grape cultivation in the District from 1972-73 is given below :

Year                                          Amount of loan advanced for

                                                                       grape cultivation (Rs)

1972-73                                                                                    20,000


1973-74            85,000


1974-75             ---


1975-76            ---


1976-77                                                                                       ---




1978-79                                                                                      ---


1979-80            ---


                                                  (Source :Deputy Commissioner, Friozpur)

Regional Fruit Research, Abohar

The Regional fruit Research Station at Abohar is in the charge of a senior horticulturist. Date is not grown commercially in any part of India, except in parts of the Kutch District of the Gujarat State. About four crore rupees’ worth of dates of certain varieties are imported from Iraq and Iran. In view of this situation, the India Council of Agricultural Research launched in 1954-55 a co-ordinated scheme for the development of date cultivation. The Town of Abohar situated in the heart of the arid irrigated zone, was selected for the purpose. For the first ten years, this project was financed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Later on, it came under the control of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

            As many as 49 varieties of dates have been introduced from various countries, including the USA, Egypt, Muscat and Pakistan. In 1980, 34 varieties, including the leading varieties  of the world existed at the Research Station at Abohar. This collection is stated to be unique and the biggest of its kind in India.

            The station has a very comprehensive collection of citrus species or cultivators. In 1980, about 180 species or varieties existed at the Research Station. Kinnow, which was imported from the USA, when  put on trial proved to be the best variety and has been taken up commercially during the past few years. Besides, about 250 varieties of grapes mostly  of the vinifera group –collected and screened at this station, a number of them, such as  Perpetta, Delight, Thompson, seedless, Cardinal, Beauty Seedless, Kishmish Charni,  have shwon promise. This station was the first to set up three grape training systems, namely, the Arbour System, the Telephone System and the Kniffin System.

(iv) Improved Agricultural Practices

            The rapid rise in agricultural development and production since Independence has been due to the introduction of high-yielding varieties  of crops, the adoption of improved cultural practices (such as greater and better use of fertilizers and deep ploughing, crop rotation, green-manuring, the use of compost and farm-yard manure, bacterial cultures, the inclusion of leguminous crops in rotations, the sowing of crops by using the ora method, the line-sowing of cotton, the trench-sowing of sugarcane and the use of improved furnaces for gur-making, and installation of tube-wells and pumping-sets.

The high-yielding varieties of different crops sown in the District are as under :


Name of crop                                           Variety

            Paddy                                            I.r.---8, Jaya, P.r. –106

Wheat                                             WL-711, HD-20009, KSML-3 Solalika,

                                                WG-357, WG-377, WL-1562

Bajra                                              HB No. 1

Maize                                              Ganga No. 5, Vijay, Ageti 76

Cotton                                            Bickaneri, , F-414, J-27, J-34

(v) Crop Competition

                                    With a vie to promoting a spirit of healthy rivalry among the cultivators for maximizing the yields of important crops per hectare through the use of improved agricultural practices, the Crop-Competition  Scheme was introduced into the District in 1951-52. Ever y year, crop competitions are organized at the village, tehsil, district and State levels.


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