Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Approval for Election in LCC (West) Area Water Board

The Mnaging Director PIDA, Khalid Masood Chaudhary has approved the Elections Plan for the elections of 67 Farmers Organizations and 2723 Khal Panchayts in the Area Water Board of Lower Chenab Canal (West) Circle, Faisalabad.  
After the approval, the Chief Ececutive of LCC (West) Area Water Board has issued the electiopn schedule and the notification for the appointments of Election Officers and Senior Elections Officer. As per plan, the elections of Khal Panchayts will be conducted during Jnuary 8, 2013 and February 1, 2013 after fulfilling the necessary requirements. The Chief Executive will hear and decide the objections on elections during February 10 to February 16 and notify the elections results on February19.  
PIDA management has also directed the election officers for not giving  opportunity to Abiana defaulters to contest the elections.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Inter Area Water Board Monitoring of FOs

A proposal for the monitoring of Farmers Organizations has been prepared by PIDA to convert them in category “A” from category “B”. As per proposal, the monitoring & evaluation staff of alternate Area Water Boards will be deputed to conduct the monitoring of FOs functioning. The concerned FO Coordinator, Field Inspectors of other Area Water Boards and the Manager M&E from PIDA Head Office will jointly perform the evaluation activities and prepare reports which will be used for further policy framing.
            The monitoring teams will observe the technical, revenue and management aspects of FOs under participatory irrigation management model, according to Deputy General Manager (TM) Mr. Afzal Anjum Toor. The said proposal will be sent to Managing Director PIDA for approval.  

Sunday, 30 September 2012

9th Joint Monitoring Meeting on PISIP-SIAP

The election of Farmer Organizations in Lower Chenab Canal (West) Circle as well as Chairmen of Lower Chenab Canal (East) and Bahawalnagar Area Water Boards (AWB) will be held during the month of October under the aegis of Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA).
This was stated by Managing Director PIDA Khalid Masood Ch. while presiding over the 9th joint monitoring meeting of Punjab Irrigation System Improvement Project (PISIP) in the committee room of Irrigation Department. The meeting was attended by GM (TM) PIDA Ch. Bashir Zahid, GM (Operation) Khalid Hanif Bhatti, GM (finance) Malik M. Saleem, AS (tech) Khalid Qureshi, Deputy GM Afzal Anjum Toor, AWB Chief Executives and representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
MD-PIDA said that the FOs should be provided necessary official record, attachment of staff and technical trainings so that they could be able to perform their functions efficiently. He said that the above-mentioned tasks should be completed on priority basis. The meeting also reviewed the progress of under construction buildings of the Area Water Board offices at Bahawalnagar and Faisalabad.  The JICA delegation’s head Mr. Susumu Uciumi recommended that the FOs should be provided on the job trainings so that they could efficiently perform their functions. The meeting expressed its satisfaction over the standard of training manuals prepared by the JICA for FOs’ capacity building.  The JICA team urged that separate trainings for general bodies and the management committees of FOs should be conducted without delay.
MD-PIDA directed to ensure the maximum attendance of the staff of Irrigation Department during the orientation workshops which would be exclusively organised for them in the areas of Bahawalnagar and DG Khan.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Environmental Capacity Building Program

The Managing Director PIDA, Mr. Khalid Masood Chaudhary has approved the environmental capacity building program which was prepared by the Social & Environmental Management Unit (SEMU) of PIDA. The said capacity building program has been developed keeping in view the field requirements of canal officers, PIDA, PID and FOs staff as well as the contractors. As per plan, the program will primarily focus of one day training workshops which would be conducted in all irrigation zones of Punjab including small dams project.  
The environmental capacity building workshops will be conducted after complete assessment and analysis of training needs of the stakeholders regarding social and environmental issues and their prompt mitigation measures while executing development works. The participants of the workshops will be provided guidelines regarding the mitigation of social and environmental issues. Similarly, they will also be provided awareness raising material during the training sessions. There has also been planned a documentary which would be prepared for the stakeholders very soon, keeping in view the social and environmental challenges of irrigation sector.
The Managing Director PIDA has directed to especially focus the legal framework of irrigation and environmental sectors during the training workshops. He also has urged to conduct the awareness raising seminars regarding social and environmental threats of water sector as well as the celebration of environment day.       

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Progress Review Meeting at LBDCIP Sahiwal

The Deputy General Manager (TM) Mr. Afzal Anjum Toor held a visit in the area of Lower Bari Doab Canal Improvement Project, Sahiwal to observe the issues of Farmers Organizations, after Irrigation Management Transfer agreement. During the first meeting, the Presidents of FOs 2/L, 2/R, 2R/A and Jandraka participated. The Program Director LBDCIP, Mr. Javed Akhtar was also present in the meeting.
While depicting the problems, Mr. Shahid Habib, President FO 2/L informed that there had not been conducted any training session for the capacity building of FOs before or after their operationalization. Resultantly, they are unable to perform as per requirement. Similarly, there have not been allocated offices for them to rum their business smoothly. He also pointed out the poor cooperation of Police in registering the FIRs against water theft delinquents. The issue of lack in coordination among FOs and PID staff was also discussed which is creating hurdles in service delivery. The Presidents also demanded for the inventory of assets from PID. They also informed that no seed money had been provided to FOs for purchase of stationery and office furnisher. The participants also discussed the reasons of delay in Abiana collection.
 In response to the issues raised by FOs representatives, Deputy General Manager (TM) ensured them to expedite the process of their capacity building program so that they could be able to perform their functions efficiently. He also expressed to present the Farmers related issues before the management of PIDA for further policy framing. 
After detailed session with FOs, he also conducted a separate meeting with the staff of LBDCIP in which he was briefed about the reforms implementation. The staff also told him about the hindrances, in the way of reforms implementation. He also conducted a field visit on water channels with staff and FOs representatives. 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Nomination of Focal Person for Children Complaint Office

A Children Complaint Office has been established in the office of the Ombudsman Punjab with the assistance of UNICEF which is serving as a dedicated redress and responsive forum for grievances, particularly relating to children below the age of eighteen years.
To enhance the working of Children Complaint Office especially at rural level, the Ombudsman office has sought the help and assistance of the public sector organizations which are key stakeholders in the protection of children rights. Likewise, PIDA management was also requested to nominate a focal person for the matters pertaining to the protection of child rights. In this regard, Manager Communication & Education Cell of PIDA has been nominated as Focal Person.   

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Training Material for PIDA Stakeholders

The Training Department of PIDA has been working for the development and preparation of training material for the capacity building of Farmers Organizations and Area Water Boards members and staff in collaboration with JICA. The said training material will also help improve the professional capabilities of PID and PIDA staff. After the hard work of several months, following training material and manuals have been prepared:
  1.      Operational Manual for Farmers Organizations.
  2.        Training Material for Professional Staff of PID/FOs and AWBs.
  3.         Accounting Manual.

The purpose of these training manuals is to facilitate the training process as well as to improve the technical knowledge and guidance to carry out day to day works of all stakeholders involved in institutional reforms process of irrigation sector, according to Deputy General Manager(SM/Training), Syed Shaiq Hussain Abidi. Likewise, PIDA will start the 2nd round of training for FOs and their staff during the next month.  

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Orientation Workshop at Sahiwal

On the request of PIDA, the Japan International Co operation Agency (JICA) organized an Orientation Workshop for the Presidents of Farmers Organizations in the Area Water Board of Lower Bari Doab Canal(LBDC), Sahiwal. The Chief Advisor JICA Mr. Susumu Uciumi and Technical Advisor JICA Mr. Aslam Qureshi and Deputy General Manager (TM) PIDA Najmus Saqib Rehmani participated in the workshop as resource persons while Program Director LBDCIP, Mr. Javed Akhtar was also present.
The first session of the workshop consisted of providing information to the staff of PID and AWB LBDC on their role and functions in the formation of FOs/AWBs and thereafter support and capacity building of the said entities in the performing of their duties. Mr. Susumu Uchuimi and Mr. Najmus Saqib Rehmani delivered lectures during this session.
The second session consisted of the orientation of the Presidents of the Farmers Organizations which was conducted by Mr. Aslam Qureshi. In the said session, the FO Presidents were briefed on the demarcation of their roles and PID staff after the Irrigation Management Transfer. The Presidents were informed that after their up gradation from Category ‘B’ to ‘A’, they have the functions to perform as per FOs Rules 2010, 2012 and Canal & Drainage Act 1873. The participants thanked JICA for holding such useful workshop. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Training Workshop in Japan

Japan International Co operation Agency organized a two weeks training workshop in Japan from July 1, to July 14, 2012 under “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management” Project. Mr. Sajid Mehmood, President of FO Jalwala, Bahawalnagar Area Water Board, Mr. Manzoor Ahmad Siddiqui , Manager Social Mobilization/Trainings PIDA and Mr. Shahzad Mehmood, Assistant Training Coordinator (Technical) Bahawalnagar Area Water Board were nominated to attend the training workshop. The said training/study tour was facilitated by JICA/Hokkaido Center to Study Japanese Farmers Organizations system.  
All the participants were invited in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries where Mr. Hujiwara, Director Overseas Land Improvement Cooperation welcomed and briefed them about the participatory irrigation management model, being practiced in Japan. Later on, the participants were delivered lectures on “Irrigation Development in Japan” and “Land Improvements Districts System” which is a sort of farmer organization in Japan, responsible for irrigation management. The participants were also provided the opportunity to physically observe the functioning of Land Improvements Districts and the mechanism of agro production supplies from farm to market entirely managed by farmers.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Status of Abiana Collection by FOs

The Farmers Organizations have been empowered to collect the amount of Abiana from irrigators under institutional reforms program. Till June 2012, the Farmers Organizations in Lower Chenab Canal (East) Area Water Board assessed Rs. 1229.399 millions and collected Rs. 827.870(m). The FOs of Lower Chenab Canal (West) Area Water Board have collected Rs. 451.9 41(m) out of assessed Rs. 608.289(m). Likewise, the FOs of Lower Jehlam Canal Sargodha collected Rs. 44.982(m) out of assessed Rs.48.152 (m). The Abiana collection progress in Chashma Right Bank Canal Division at Taunsa remained poor where only Rs. 14. 697(m) out of Rs. 103.655(m) could be collected. The Farmers Organizations of Bahawalnagar Area Water Board collected Rs. 191.940(m) out of Rs. 238.885(m). All the Area Water Boards have deposited the PIDA share in government kitty. The General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali has directed the concerned Chief Executives to boost up their efforts for maximum Abiana collection and recovery.          

Social and Environmental Guidelines for FOs

The Social and Environmental Management Unit of PIDA has prepared the guidelines for the representatives of Farmers Organizations who are managing their distributaries with autonomy. In the canal operations process, the FOs are responsible for equal distribution of irrigation water among shareholders and development works of water channels including their de silting. During the operational activities on distributaries, different social and environmental challenges come into being which may spoil the objectives of the development works.  To mitigate and overcome these environmental challenges, the Farmers Organizations will be provided these newly developed guidelines to help them in managing environmental threats during construction and maintenance works on distributaries. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Accounts Management Training of FOs

PIDA organized a two days training session for the financial management staff stationed at field offices to equip them with the financial manual which has been recently developed  to assist the farmers organizations to manage their accounts. The resource persons, Mr. Matee ur Rehman and Qazi Imran explained the financial manual to the trainees in detail and answered their questions which are mostly faced by them while assisting the farmers’ organizations regarding accounts. During the training, the General Manager (Finance) Asif Sohail while addressing the participants said that the Farmers Organizations are the basic units of institutional reforms program in irrigation sector. The Accounts management is an important area for the success of participatory irrigation management model. The financial management staff should cordially help the FOs in accounts management as they are new to the irrigation system. The Deputy General Manager (SM) Syed Shaiq Hussain Abidi was also present during the training.  

Saturday, 14 July 2012

JICA visit at Bahawalnagar

The Chief Advisor JICA, Susumu Uciumi and the Coordinator Reforms on SIAP Project, Muneeb Zafar held a visit at Bahawalnagar Area Water Board to observe the performance of FO Sirajwah and the usage of training material by FO’s General Body and Management Committee.
At first, the JICA expert briefly explained the purpose of visit under SIAP project. The FO Coordinator while briefing the JICA team about the outlines of the FO told that it was one of the oldest FOs in Bahawalnagar Canal Circle and working since 2000. One of the Executive members (Middle) was working with the FO since day one. The FO President explained that the FO conducts its General Body meeting twice in a year and the minutes of the meeting are recorded. Likewise, the FO conducts its Management Committee meeting with in 40 days. The minutes of these meetings are also regularly recorded. The FO has also established all the standing committees, and their members are aware about their position in the standing committees. It was told during the meeting that the FO Coordinator was visiting the FO twice a month and attending every MC meeting of the FO and always ready to assist the FO in its affairs.
In response to a question, the FO President replied that the expenditures were with in budget and the FO got no loan from PIDA in order to run the system. The current income of the FO is Rs. 59,000,000, while half of the money was deposited to PIDA as per rule. All of the expenditures record regarding administration and operation was well maintained by the FO Assistant.
While discussing the operation works, it was brought into knowledge that the FO President and the Executive members often check the distributary. The de-silting of distributary was done in patches. Usually during the month of December, before annual closure, the Management Committee conducts a survey on entire distributary including the minors with Technical Manager and marks the areas which require the immediate need of de silting. It was mentioned that complete de silting has not been done by the FO since 2000 due to shortage of funds.
The FO President pointed out that the minors associated with the main distributary were already lined but the main distributary had not been lined yet. The FO members has held meeting with Head PMO (PISIP) and explained him the situation. Head PMO (PISIP) agreed to line the distributary after the completion of ongoing work. The Executive member (Middle) explained that there was a need to line the distributary on immediate basis in order to minimize the maintenance cost as well as the water theft cases.
In 2008, when the FO got resolved after the completion of three years tenure, it was working in A Category. After the administrative period, when the FO again took charge in 2011, the FO was placed in B Category. The Executive member (Middle) criticised that FO Jalwala is working in A Category while rest of the FOs are working in B Category. Executive member further said that a set criterion should be followed for all of the FOs.
The JICA team appreciated the performance of the FO Sirajwah and promised to deliver the reservations of the FO to the higher authorities. The Chief Advisor JICA also urged the participants to motivate the farming community to involve in the management and maintenance work of the distributary. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Seminar on World Environment Day

The Social & Environment Management Unit of PIDA organized a seminar on World Environment Day to create awareness among the irrigation engineers, project managers and other concerned professionals.
The Additional Secretary (Admin) Irrigation Department presided the seminar while Chief Engineer Irrigation Lahore Zone, Syed Mehmood ul Hassan Shah and General Manager (TM) Syed Faiz Muhauldin participated as guests of honor.  Likewise, a large number of irrigation engineers, officers, and PIDA staff attended the seminar on invitation of Director SEMU Najmus Saqib Rehmani.
Director SEMU, Najmus Saqib Rehmani addressing in the seminar
 After the recitation from the Holy Quran, the Director SEMU welcomed all the participants and apprised them about the importance of environment and the reasons of its global celebration. He informed the participants about the water pollution in river Ravi and its effects on agriculture production. He told that SEMU has done a detailed research to measure the contamination level in the water of river Ravi. Meanwhile, he also presented a thought provoking documentary to the audience.
 While addressing in the seminar, the Additional Secretary (Administration) Irrigation Department, Sara Aslam told that Irrigation Department was taking into consideration the entire available legal framework to improve the water quality in water channels. She urged the irrigation engineers to take necessary steps in time so that farmers could get the pollution free irrigation water. She appreciated the staff of SEMU for conducting the seminar on environment day.
The environmental experts were especially invited to address in the seminar. Professor Ateeq ul Rahman from Environmental Sciences Department, Lahore College for Women University dwelled upon the adverse effects of arsenic on human health. He told that the presence of arsenic in drinking water is causing cancer as well as many other diseases. He further identified many arsenic effected areas of Punjab in which ground water has become dangerous for human health.
Participants of the seminar on World Environment Day
The Environmental Scientist, Dr. Ashraf Bodla advised the participants to make efforts for the sustainability of environmental betterment. He said that green economy means to play our individual roles to maintain the eco system on earth by adopting austerity measures in the utilization of natural resources. He said that scientific and industrial revolution has helped a lot human being by providing luxuries of life but unfortunately, there have not been done sufficient arrangements for the disposal of industrial waste which ultimately causes environmental pollution.  
The Chief Engineer Irrigation Lahore Zone, Syed Mehmood Ul Hassan Shah informed that all the projects, designed for the betterment of irrigation supplies are approved only when they are provided NOC from SEMU. The objective is to make the irrigation projects environmental friendly. He also thanked all the participants for attending the seminar.    

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

44th Meeting of PIDA Authority

Provincial Minister for Irrigation Malik Ahmad Ali has directed the PIDA management to prepare proposals regarding the transparent elections of Area Water Boards, disputed issues of irrigation sector and the required amendments in the Farmers Organizations Rules 2010.
He was presiding over the 44th PIDA Authority meeting in the committee room of Irrigation Department. The Secretary Irrigation Punjab Khalid Masood Chaudhary, General Manager PIDA , Faiz Muhayuddin, General Manager (OP)  Ch. Karamat Ali, General Manager (Finance) Asif Sohail, Secretary PIDA Najmus Saqib Rehmani  and the Farmers Members PIDA Abdul Rehman Rana, Karam Elahi Bandial, Javed Hasan Gujjar,  Rana Mubashar Iqbal,  Ali Haidar Naizi and Main Tahir Saeed including  the representative of  Finance, P&D, Irrigation and Agriculture Departments were also present in the meeting.
Malik Ahmed Ali has said that the Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority was established under PIDA Act 1997 to improve the equitable irrigation  supplies with the participation of farmers. He directed to strictly follow the PIDA Rules and Regulations for transparent elections of Farmers Organizations (FOs) and Area Water Boards (AWB) members. The Authority also empowered the General Manager (TM) PIDA  to hear the appeals related to AWB elections. The Authority also reviewed the issues of 15% adhoc relief due to PIDA employees  since July 2011  and the regularization of PIDA staff in detail. The Authority also granted the extension in contracts to all PIDA employees beyond 30.06.2012.
The Minister said that Punjab government is fully aware about with the problems of employees and Chief Minister Punjab is keen interested to solve their problems. He said that we believe in to facilitate government employees so that they could better perform. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Environment Day at Engineering Academy

The Social & Environmental Management Unit of PIDA will arrange a seminar in Government Engineering Academy to celebrate the World Environment Day on June 5, 2012. The Managing Director PIDA/Secretary Irrigation Punjab Khalid Masood Chaudhary will inaugurate the seminar while the professionals of the water and environment sectors will deliver the lectures.   

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Elections of AWB Members

As per approved election plan, PIDA field staff has initiated the process of the elections of farmer members of Bahawalnagar and Dera Jaat Area Water Boards. The elections process will be completed in Dera Jaat Canal Circle and Bahawalnagar AWB in May 2012 and June 2012 respectively.

Irrigation Management Transfer Agreements in DG Khan

The Farmer Organizations were established in the areas of D G Khan and Rajan Pur at Dera Jaat Area Water Board to empower them with participatory irrigation management. The PIDA management has advised the concerned Chief Executive to sign the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) Agreements with Farmer Organizations so that they could manage their distributaries in the interest of farming community.
During the month, the Chief Executive Dera Jaat AWB has signed IMT agreements with 30 FOs in Rajanpur while 52 in DG Khan. Similarly, the remaining 9 IMT agreements in this area will be signed in May as per plan.  

FOs Elections in CRBC Division Taunsa

On the direction of PIDA, the Chief Executive Dera Jaat Area Water Board DG Khan Ch. Muhammad Yaqoob has initiated the elections process of Farmer Organizations in Chashma Right Bank Canal Division (CRBC) Taunsa. As per elections plan, the elections of all 30 FOs will be conducted in CRBC area. Likewise, the elections process of 1186 Khal Panchayats will also be conducted in the CRBC areas. At present, concerned PIDA staff has conducted the elections of 220 Khal Panchayats as per schedule while the further process is underway.   

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

43rd PIDA Authority Meeting

The 43rd Authority meeting of PIDA was held in the main committee room of Irrigation Department on April 6, 2012 with Minister for Irrigation/ Chairman PIDA Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh in the Chair. Abdul Rahman Rana, Karam Elahi Bandial, Rana Mubasher Iqbal, Ali Haider Noor Khan Niazi, Javed Hassan Gujjar and Syed Abrar Hussain Shah being the farmer members of PIDA and the representatives of P&D, Agriculture and Finance Departments including the General Managers of PIDA participated in the meeting.
The Authority decided to amend the rules for Farmers’ Organizations and Area Water Boards and to forward these to the provincial government for approval. The purpose to amend these rules is to ensure equitable distribution of canal water among the farmers and resolution of different issues being faced by the farming community at local level. The participants were given a detailed briefing about the performance of farmers’ organization set up in different Area Water Boards.
The Authority decided to increase the tenure of Farmers Organizations up to five years from three years and to conduct the elections of AWB members on same day. It was also proposed to increase the funds for AWB elections up to 0.5 percent. The Authority agreed to keeps the newly formed FOs in category B and promote in category A on showing good performance. However, the poor performers would be kept in category B for another year. The authority members approved the annual PIDA budget for the year 2011-12 and decided to send the case of 15% Adhoc relief allowance of employees to the Chief Secretary Punjab. It was also recommended in the meeting to provide required funds for the completion of under construction AWBs building in Lower Chenab Canal System.
While addressing the meeting, the Minister Irrigation/Chairman PIDA said that the present government is very keen to facilitate the farmers at all level and their participation in irrigation management is a part of those efforts. He urged the farmers to play their active role towards improving the participatory irrigation management system in order to ensure the equitable water supplies. He also called for solid steps to curtail water theft and maximum recovery of Abiana. 

Field Survey for Monitoring the Performance of Farmers Organization

The M&E Consultants of Mott Macdonald’s visited FO Pabbarwala to monitor the performance under Institutional Reforms process. The team of consultants comprised of Team Leader Umesh Nath Parajuli and Deputy Team Leader Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhary. The Deputy Project Director Amjad Saeed, Deputy Director Sheraz Hussain of PMO of Punjab Barrages Improvement Project also accompanied along with the M&E Consultants.
The field visit was organized in collaboration with PIDA which was part of the on-going monitoring program of Farmers Organization started during January this year and has been completed on 16th of March. The main objective of the visit was to check the reliability of the data collection process. This task has been carried out as a part of a consultancy contract awarded to MM Pakistan, under “M&E of Punjab Barrages Improvement Phase-II Project”. A total of 45 FOs were selected for detail analysis and data were collected through a comprehensive interviewing guide. The visitors actively participated in the meeting and gave fruitful suggestion to further improve the process of data collection. After the meeting they visited the head regulator of the distibutary as well as the outlets and discussed its condition.
At present, the data is being analyzed and consultants are in the process of preparing formal report on the subject which will be released during next month. 

Briefing to Managing Director PIDA

New Secretary Irrigation Punjab Khalid Masood Chaudhary has taken over the charge of Managing Director PIDA. Deputy General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani briefed him about the working of PIDA. General Manager (TM) Syed Faiz Muhayud Din, General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali, General Manager (F) Asif Sohail, Deputy General Manager (F) Syed Ghulam Safdar Shah, Deputy General Manager (OP) Mian Muhammad Javed, Deputy General Manager (SM) Syed Shaiq Hussain Abidi, and other PIDA officers attended the meeting.
While giving detail presentation, DGM (TM) told the Managing Director that PIDA has established five Area Water Boards on main canal systems and irrigation management has been transferred to the Farmers Organizations. He also briefed him about the formation process of Khal Panchayats, FOs and Area Water Boards through elections and their functioning in line with the relevant legal framework. The Managing Director was also briefed about the latest status of reforms process including the problems and achievements of farmer organizations under the theme of public private partnership.
The Managing Director appreciated the farmers managed irrigation system and advised the participants to work more vigorously for the success of participatory irrigation system. He also eulogized the cooperation of international development agencies like JICA and ADB for the improvement in Pakistan’s irrigation infrastructure.    

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Environmental Capacity Building Workshops

The Managing Director PIDA, Khalid Masood Chaudhary has directed the Social & Environmental Management Unit (SEMU) to implement the training workshops program which would be helpful to create awareness among the canal officers about the social and environmental issues.

As per program, one day workshops will be conducted at zonal level in which the canal officers of Irrigation Department including the officers, working on small dams will participate. The General Manager (TM) Syed Faiz Muhayudin has also advised the Director SEMU to observe the feed back of environmental capacity building program.    

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Briefing on Water Pollution Issues

The officers of Social & Environmental Management Unit (SEMU) gave a detailed briefing to the General Manager (TM) Syed Faiz Muhayud Din in his office. Besides the Director SEMU Najmus Saqib Rehmani with his team of Deputy Directors Ms. Rizwana Anjum, Nosheen Fazal and Shahid Habib, many other PIDA officers were present.

While briefing, Ms. Nosheen Fazal told that Water pollution takes place due to the discharge of contaminated effluents from different sources in water bodies i.e Rivers, canals, lakes, oceans & underground water.

 She further explained that pollution from a single source like an oil spill is called point-source pollution while from many sources is called nonpoint-source which is difficult to control or remediate.
In the light of SEMU study on the pollution of River Ravi, she told that the pollution mostly affects the immediate area surrounding the source but sometimes it may affect the environment, even hundreds of miles away from the source. She indicated the water from domestic, industrial and agricultural uses as sources of water pollution in rivers, canals and drains as well as ground water which results to the fatal diseases in human being and livestock.
The team told that SEMU has adopted many remedial measures to avoid water pollution while the irrigation engineers are regularly trained to take necessary steps to make the irrigation projects environment friendly.  

The General Manager(TM) advised the SEMU team that besides engineers, general public should also be guided about the conservation of water as well as the avoiding of its pollution which ultimately spoil the water resources. He suggested to developing the awareness raising material in this regard which may be disseminated at mass level to bring change in the common behavior of the society. He also advised the Director to guide the participants of SEMU training programs about the environmental protection laws of the country. 

Status of LCC (East) Area Water Board Elections

The election for the farmer members of Lower Chenab Canal (East) Area Water Board have been conducted in 9 territorial units as per the decision of PIDA management. 
As per the election results, Muhammad Hasnain Tarrar have been elected from FOs territorial unit 1. Likewise, Ali Adnan Dogar from unit 3, Ghulam Dastgir Khan unit 5, Rana Muhammad Riaz unit 6, Rai Ali Raza Kharal unit 7, Muhammad Arif Zahid unit 8, Rai Asfand Yar unit 9, Ata Muhammad unit 10 while Mushtaq Ahmad Dogar have been elected from unit 11.

There are total 11 territorial units in the Area Water Board of Lower Chenab (East) out of which the election of 2 units has not been conducted till date due to litigation. 

Orientation Workshop at Dera Ghazi Khan

PIDA has planned to organize an orientation workshop at the Area Water Board of Dera Jaat Canal Circle on April 18, 2012 in the committee room of Chief Engineer Irrigation D.G.Khan.

The purpose of the workshop is to apprise the staff of provincial Irrigation Department about their role in institutional reforms process of irrigation sector. The Chief Executive of t he AWB, Executive Engineers, Sub Divisional Officers and the Ziladars working in the jurisdiction of Dera Jaat Area Water Board will participate in the workshop. Muhammad Aslam Qureshi, Technical Advisor JICA and Muhammad Waqar Khan, Ex-Chief Engineer Irrigation/General Manager (TM) PIDA will participate in the workshop as Resource Persons. The participants of the workshop would also be given orientation about the “Training Materials for Professional Staff of PID/FOs and AWBs. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Abiana Recovery Campaign

The General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali has directed all the Chief Executives of the Area Water Boards in Punjab to recover the pended Abiana amount as arrears of Land Revenue. He also has advised the Chief Executives to especially launch the recovery campaigns in their jurisdictions and direct field staff to motivate the Chairmen of Khal Panchayts in this regard. 

Workshop for TOT Manuals Editing

A Training of Trainers workshop in the committee room of PIDA was organized under “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management (SIAP) Project under JICA to discuss the editing process, promote editing works through introducing one of the tools to help the manual writing.
The nominated representatives from PIDA, Agriculture Extension and Water Management wings of Punjab Agriculture Department attended the workshop. The Training Specialist of SIAP-JICA Takashi Fujisaki coordinated the workshop and practically involved the participants in the editing process of TOT Guidelines manual.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Documentary on Socio Environmental issues

PIDA management has advised its environmental specialists to prepare a documentary for awareness raising among the farmers to mitigate the social and environmental challenges which have been identified while implementing the irrigation projects. In this regard, the Deputy General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani will coordinate with the Social & Environmental Management Unit (SEMU) team.      

The said documentary will be shown to the farming community with the primary focus to urge them for the payment of Abiana so that the irrigation system could run in their interest on sustainable basis. 

Dissemination of Irrigation Sector Reforms through Radio Programs

The General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali participated in recording of Radio Program “Khait Khait Haryali” to discuss the importance of water for food security. He also dwelled upon the role of government for the better utilization of irrigation water. The said program has been broadcasted on World Water Day.
Likewise, Deputy General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani participated in the recording of another Radio Program “Sar Sabz Pakistan” which was broadcasted in all over the Punjab province for the orientation of farming community about the conservation of water by adopting the latest water saving techniques.
Both the programs have been highly appreciated by the stakeholders of PIDA. The same activity will also be repeated during the up coming months to create awareness about the better Abiana collection and control over water theft. 

Training of PIDA staff for Website Up Gradation

The PIDA website is being revamped in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board Lahore.  In this regard, PIDA management decided to train the concerned staff from PITB so that the further up gradation of the website could be possible by avoiding the wastage of time and resources. The computer cell staff has been deputed for the training which will be responsible for the improvement of the said website. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Seminar on World Water Day

The Government of Punjab will organize a seminar to celebrate the World Water Day  at Government Engineering Academy, Lahore on March 22,2012  to create awareness among society about the importance of water for food security  . 
The Minister for Irrigation/ Chairman PIDA Ahmad Ali Aulakh will preside the seminar while Secretary Irrigation Punjab/ Managing Director PIDA Ch.Khalid Masood will give a special address to the participants.  Besides many others, the General Manager (Op) PIDA, Ch. Karamat Ali, Deputy General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani, Chairman Area Water Board, Lower Chenab Canal (West) Malik Shamsher Khan will attend the seminar. 
The seminar will be helpful for awareness raising about the efficient use of water and its conservation.  

Monday, 6 February 2012

Experience Sharing between PIDA and IWMI

The Deputy General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani held a meeting with the representatives of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in his office to share the experiences regarding participatory irrigation management. The Dy General Manager (SM) Syed Shaiq Hussain Abdi was also present while the water sector experts Dr. Arif Anwer and Azeem Shah from IWMI attended the meeting.
While sharing the experiences, Mr. Rehmani told the participants that FOs are working independently under the concept of public private partnership with full autonomy regarding the collection of Abiana and repair & maintenance of water channels. They also actively take part in the distribution of water among all the shareholders up to tail ends of distrbutaries including the control over theft of water. He also discussed in detail the training programs launched by PIDA for the capacity building of FOs.
The representatives of IWMI, Dr. Arif Anwer appreciated the commitment of PIDA management towards participatory irrigation management model and told about the project “Revitalizing Irrigation in Pakistan” which would be launched by IWMI in the area of Bahawalnagar district. He told that the purpose of the project is to conserve the irrigation water at maximum level by adopting modern techniques with the participation of farmers. The participants agreed upon the joint working under both projects to avoid the wastage of resources and achieve the better results in favor of farming community.           

FOs and AWBs Elections Finalized

The Managing Director PIDA Irfan Elahi has directed to early ensure the elections of Board members in Lower Chenab Canal (East), Bahawalnagar and Dera Jaat Area Water Boards. The elections process of Khal Panchayts and Farmers Organization in all these Area Water Boards has already been completed. The MD while presiding the “5th Joint Monitoring Meeting of PISIP-SIAP Activities under JICA Finances” directed that the elections of Area Water Board members should be conducted without any further delay. On an inquiry about the delay in elections of Farmers Organizations in Lower Chenab Canal (West) Area Water Board, the Deputy General Manager Najmus Saqib Rehmani apprised the meeting that the said elections could not be conducted due to the lack of financial resources. The Technical Advisor JICA Aslam Qureshi proposed that some loan out of Abian share may be incurred on election activity which may be credited from supplementary grant but the meeting observed that the Abiana share are the Government receipts and can not be incurred on elections of FOs.  The Managing Director directed the finance wing of PIDA to take immediate action for the supplementary grant, so that the other activities may not suffer.
Earlier, the Deputy General Manager (TM) also proposed that the expenses on elections of FOs can be met by imposing nominal elections fee upon contesting candidates of Khal Panchayts and Farmers Organizations. He also referred the clause 5(15) of PIDA Act 1997 in favor of his proposal. The Managing Director instructed to prepare a detailed proposal in this regard and suggest amendments in concerned regulations to make the proposal compatible with the legal framework of PIDA.       

Transfer of Record to Farmers Organizations

The Managing Director PIDA Irfan Elahi has directed to transfer the relevant record to all the Farmers Organizations in Dera Jaat Canal circle D G Khan. The purpose of record supply is to enable the FOs understand and mange their distributaries autonomously. The Managing Director has also directed PIDA management to sign the Irrigation Management Transfer agreements with FOs on priority basis and provide them seed money for the establishment of their offices. The JICA representatives, working on Punjab Irrigation System Improvement Project also have already recommended to provide assistance to these newly established FOs in this regard.    

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Desilting of FOs Managed Channels

The Farmers Organizations in all the operational Area Water Boards are actively involved in the desilting of water channels during the on going canal closure period. The FOs are taking part in the desilting program as per given schedule where the first phase has been completed while the second phase is under way.
According to the desilting of channels plan, there are 234 water channels in Lower Chenab Canal (East) AWB, 182 channels in LCC (West), 16 in Lower Jehlum Canal, 151 in Bahawalnagar Canal and 64 in Chashma Right Bank Canal, Dera Jaat Canal Circle which are being operated by the FOs. The Farmers Organizations are desilting 23 channels in LCC (East) AWB, 26 in LCC(West), 2 in LJC, 6 in Bahawalnagar and 6 in CRBC, Dera Ghazi Khan.  As a whole, the FOs will desilt a number of 66 water channels, with the total length of 368.22 miles. The estimated cost of the desilting of these channels is Rs. 11.134 million which will be used from FOs share in Abiana.  The General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali and his team are conducting regular field visits to monitor the work quality in this regard. 

Desilting of FOs Managed Channels

Friday, 27 January 2012

Monthly Meeting on SIAP Activities

The staff of PIDA held a meeting with the representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to review the monthly progress on “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management in Punjab” Project.
The meeting was attended by Head PMO PISIP, Ch. Muhammad Shafiq, General Manager (OP) Ch. Karamat Ali, General Manager (Finance) Asif Sohail, Dy. General Manager (TM) Najmus Saqib Rehmani, Dy. General Manager (SM) Shaiq Hussain Abidi, Manager(SM) Manzoor Ahmad Siddiqui, Manager (M&E) Rizwan Aslam and Manager (Finance) Fawad Ahmad from PIDA while Mr. Susumu Uciumi and Mr. Aslam Qureshi participated from JICA.
JICA and PIDA representatives discussing on SIAP
The meeting discussed in detail the FOs elections process in Lower Chenab Canal (West) Area Water Board and decided to direct the concerned Chief Executive to prepare the new voters lists within the period of two weeks. Likewise, a three months target for the completion of whole process of the formation of 67 FOs was set. While discussing the activities related to institutional reforms process, the meeting was told that Area Water Board elections at Bahawalanagar would be ensured within two months. The concerned quarters have already been directed to complete the arrangements for elections.  
The meeting, for the training and capacity building of FOs recommended to ensure the maximum participation of stakeholders in the training sessions. The meeting desired that the trainers should have more focus on the practical dimensions of irrigation management like record maintenance, Abiana collection mechanism and the technical aspects of water supply. The curriculum for the capacity building of FOs, prepared by JICA was also discussed. The meeting was told that the process for recruitment of PISIP staff is also underway. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Visit of Managing Director PIDA in Japan

On the invitation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Mr. Irfan Elahi Managing Director PIDA visited Japan in 2nd week of November 2011. The purpose of the visit was to introduce him water management system of Japan under the concept of public private partnership based on the participatory Irrigation Management.
MD PIDA observing the farmers's managed canals control system
The representatives of Japan Water Agency and Land Improvement Districts (Farmers Organizations in Japan) welcomed and introduced to him the rubber gate in Kikugawa city on the river to manage and operate the water supply to farm and city areas which was operated by varying air pressure. The MD observed that the banks of the river were protected by concrete.  The staff explained him the functions of Banba Reservoir which collects the surplus water and release to the canal when the water demand is increased. He was also explained the control of the canal system of Banba Reservoir through a central control system which receives the demand of water form LIDs and releases the water to farmers accordingly by operating the gates electronically.
The Managing Director also visited the green house owned by farming community involved in water management where a Japanese farmer while briefing told that water fee was not an issue for him but the diesel price was very serious for farm management. Later, the farmers’ managed tomato and rice processing units were also visited where the products of member farmers were processed on subsidized rates. He appreciated the well organized mechanism of irrigated agriculture in Japan and declared it a role model for Pakistan’s water and agriculture sector.