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