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.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
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.
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
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.
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.
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.