Pakistan hopes to improve its gas and water systems through two technical assistance grants from the Asian Development Bank in Manila.

One grant will finance a study on gas supply and demand options in the country's southern and northern gas supply systems.

The study also will assess the long-term investment requirements of Sui Gas Transmission Co. Ltd. and Southern Gas Co. Ltd, and recommend ways to combine the two government agencies. Sui Gas transmits and Southern Gas distributes gas to areas south of the Pirkoh and Sui fields.

ADB is assisting another study -- similar to Pakistan's government study -- that will lay out ways to modernize and expand the southern gas system.

According to ADB, the Sui-Karachi system needs to tie-in with another pipeline to improve its flexibility. The system also needs better communication and control facilities.

Both studies are expected take seven months.

The other ADB grant will fund a study of Pakistan's water drainage and salinity in the Punjab province.

The area is currently irrigated from the Nurewala/Dhok canal, which receives its water from the Muhujar branch of the Thal Canal. Rice is the principal summer crop and wheat the main winter crop in the region. Agricultural production is low because of waterlogging, high salinity, inadequate drainage surface, and inefficient use of irrigation.

The study will examine the amount of drainage in the area and recommend irrigation and planting methods.

The study, which is scheduled to get under way this month, will take three months.