The Sukkur Barrage on the Indus River was opened in January 1932, following almost a century of deliberations by the Government of Bombay Presidency. The largest irrigation project ever undertaken, it brought nearly 7 million acres under cultivation. Some of the project's individual canals were larger than the Suez Canal. It paved the way for an economically depressed Sindh to become a full province, with its capital in the rapidly growing port city of Karachi. Fifteen years later, Karachi became the capital of a new country, Pakistan.
Today the Sukkur Barrage, while critical to the lower Indus basin economy, is also responsible for enormous waterlogging and salinity problems. These are among the reasons why the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro fifty miles to the south is threatened and cannot be further excavated.
This footage was shot by The March of Time in October 1941. The Daily Gazette, published from Karachi, later became The Sind Gazette, and shows the Viceroy Lord Willingdon who inaugurated the canal.