PESHAWAR: Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Mohammad Khan directed to plan conservation of perennial, ground and flood water resources etc in the wake of looming water crisis large in the foreseeable future.
He directed for inclusion of water conservation in the organizational chart of the Agriculture Department, formulation of law against drainage of polluted water in the rivers and to enhance productivity through proper training and capacity building of the farmers.
He said that society needs to be sensitised to the importance of water conservations. He said that the province should have a short, mid and long term planning to take care of the rapid milting down of glaciers, the squeezing water resources and should have a good moving forward vision.
He was chairing a meeting at the CM Secretariat in which he was briefed about the agriculture and irrigation departments. Provincial Minister Anwar ul Haq, secretaries, and other authorities concerned attended the meeting.
The agriculture secretary briefed the chief minister about the vision, mission of the department, budget, schemes under the Annual Developmental Programme, proposed schemes under interim ADP and current progress of the department. The chief minister said that agriculture was the mainstay of the economy feeding the dominant portion of rural population and contributing to the urban populations.
“Malnutrition is the main cause of poor health, the quality of food will reduce spending on health related problems and it is the best prevention approach,” he added. Dost Muhammad Khan directed that the Agriculture Department should work on fast track making a model district for quality food production that could be replicated in the province.
He said the futuristic planning should prioritize the diversification and crops multiplication in the province adding that water resources and its efficient use was the first step in this direction. He stated that adaptability to modern farming techniques was the rational approach adding that the Agriculture Department needs to promote environmental friendly plantation and crops protection and bringing the much needed diversity to the agricultural sector.
Dost Mohammad Khan directed to include water protection in the formal activities of the Agriculture Department by amending the business rules of the department. He said that water crisis is a serious issue and we cannot afford any negligence. He said that precious water was being wasted due to negligence and illiteracy therefore water crisis was increasingly approaching.
“We need to make aware the society in this regard.” He said in this connection there should be short, mid and long term plan. He further directed to form and implement a formal law against the drainage of dirty water in the rivers with strict implementation mechanism. He said no system can work without the concept of reward and punishment. The society gets destroyed if there was no fear of law.
The chief minister agreed in principle to the proposals for the enhancement of the capacity of the department, its future strategy and proposed packages for South Waziristan and other backward districts. The irrigation secretary also briefed the chief minister about major developmental activities in the province.
He said that Chashma Right Bank Canal project on the right bank of Chashma Barrage in DI Khan was being constructed with the cost of Rs 120 billion. The fresh PC-I of the project has already been submitted to the concerned Federal department. The federal government will bear 65% of the cost while the province will bear 35% cost of the project.
He also highlighted other important aspects of the project and told that the capacity of the project was 2613 cusec while cultivable command area was 286140 acres. While briefing about the under construction small dams, it was revealed that 11 dams were being constructed under Annual Development Programme and further eight small dams were also under construction under PSDP.
Four dams of Karak, Kohat and Swabi were near to be completed. The chief minister directed to give priority to the low cost but the most beneficent in the vast interest of the public.