Rs 47b to be spent to meet water needs


The government plans to spend an amount of more than Rs 47 billion on different projects in the water sector, especially in the refinement of existing irrigation network during this year, an official source said on Thursday.
Of the total proposed funds, around 87 per cent would be spent on irrigation projects as lining of channels in saline zones is being undertaken in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to save seepage and other losses.
He also said that Rs 3 billion would be spent on this programme.
He said the resources would also be utilized for construction of small and medium size dams, drainage projects, construction of new canal projects with the prime objective to meet power and water needs of the country.
The official said that sub-sector sufficient budget was earmarked for six new dams including Ghabir in Punjab, Darwat and Nai Gaj in Sindh, Kurram Tangi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Winder and Naulong dams in Balochistan.
Phase-I of the two new canals projects – Kachhi and Rainee – and extension of Pat Feeder Canal in Balochistan is also part of the project, he said.
He said all on-going water management related projects and activities had been shifted to the provinces and the same would remain in progress during this year.
Under normal emergency flood schemes, the government plans to spend Rs 900 million to complete about 20 small emergent nature flood schemes countrywide.
Regarding water augmentation, he said it was expected that the overall water availability at farm gate would remain about 17.52 Mhm (142.00 MAF) this year which included surface water supplies through canal withdrawals, canal lining, irrigation system rehabilitation/improvement programs, construction of small/medium dams, check dams and retention weirs.
About 6.00 Mhm (48.63 MAF) of water would be included in the system from underground fresh water aquifer mainly by tube wells, while water losses of system through seepage would be improved with major emphasis on water conservation measures.