Wednesday, 7 May 2014


PIDA is preparing training guidelines for the master trainers in collaboration with JICA. For this Purpose, A task team comprising of Manager (Trainings) Manzoor Ahmad Sidiqi, Manager (C&E) Najam Abbas Najmi, Manager (Reforms) Imran Aslam, Manager (M&E) Rizwan Aslam and Field Inspector Syed Arsad Ali will prepare the draft guidelines with the assistance of JICA's Training & Capacity Building Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki.

The task team has initiated the work on the preparation of draft which will be reviewed by PIDA management. At present, the proposed contents of the guidelines have been finalized and it is expected that task team will complete its work till the end of March 2014.


The Chief minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Saharif has given financial autonomy to PIDA. According to details, PIDA will be able to incur funds after the approval of its budget despite depositing the available funds to the governmental kitty. It is expected that sufficient resources for in time maintenance of water channels will be available. It is pertinent to mention here that the farmers organization are legally bound to deposit fifty percent of collected Abiana amount which was further deposited in the kitty of Punjab Government.
After the status of autonomy, PIDA will maintain its expenditures from the collected amount of Abiana.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Minister Lauds JICA's Role in Irrigation Management

The minister for Irrigation/Chairman PIDA, Mian Yawar Zaman has said that the role of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the success of irrigation sector projects in Punjab is highly pivotal. JICA has helped to develop the irrigation sector on most modern lines. The introduction of latest water saving techniques with the technical assistance of JICA will go a long way in saving canal water and improving agricultural productivity, he hoped.
He stated this while presiding over the closing session of a seminar on “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management Project in Punjab” (SIAP) at a local hotel today. Besides a large number of farming community members, the First Secretary of Japan Embassy in Pakistan Mr. Yuichi Kuroda, Country Chief JICA Mr. Motoo Taki, Chief Irrigation Advisor Mr. Noryo Kyono, Capacity Buiding Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki, Member P&D Board Dr. Abid Bodla, Additional Secretary Irrigation Khalid Hussain Qureshi, General Manager PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor, Chief Engineer Irrigation Chaudhary Muhammad Shafiq and concerned field officers also attended the ceremony.
Irrigation minister observed that the canal water is the main artery of whole irrigation system as it’s used for almost every agricultural activity. He said the canal water becomes ever more important in arid zones or in areas where underground water is brackish and unable for agricultural purposes.
“It is important to note that the irrigation system of Punjab is more than hundred years old and therefore, could not ensure a sufficient storage capacity to cope with the rising water needs of farmers. In the light of such circumstances, the Punjab government has decided to launch a comprehensive development plan to sensitize the farming community about canal water saving techniques.”
He expressed the satisfaction that keeping in view the importance of water management in Punjab; JICA has extended its all-out assistance to introduce latest water saving technologies by improving the professional capacity of officers working in irrigation and agriculture sectors at the grassroots.
The minister commended the good efforts of JICA and PIDA in achieving hundred percent results of SIAP and termed it as a proof of sheer commitment and sincerity of farmers and officers for the betterment of irrigation sector. The trained human resource under SIAP will keep on introducing the water saving techniques throughout Punjab, he hoped.
The minister also thanked JICA for assisting Punjab Government to improve the income of farmers and hoped that Japan Government will continue its support in future as well.      
The representatives of JICA, P&D Board, Agriculture Department and PIDA including farmer representatives also spoke on the occasion and expressed their satisfaction over the quality of training.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Third Party Monitoring of FOs Functions

The provincial minister for irrigation and chairman PIDA Mian Yawar Zaman has directed to set off third party monitoring mechanism to examine and improve the working of Farmer Organizations (FOs) regarding repair and maintenance of water channels in their respective areas.
It was stated by him while presiding over a briefing session regarding working of Farmer Organizations which held in the committee room of Irrigation Department. Besides other, Chief Engineers of Irrigation Department, Managing Director PIDA Malik Hassan Iqbal, General Manager (TM) Afzal Anjum Toor, General Manager (OP) Muhabbat Khan and General Manger (F) Muhammad Salim Malik also attended the meeting.  
The Minister, while presiding over the meeting said that Farmer Organizations were working under institutional reforms program and fully responsible for the canal operations on their distributaries. He described that there should be a mechanism to check the working of FOs regarding the repair and maintenance of water channels especially during the canal closure period. He hoped that due to the third party mechanism, transparency in the use of public money will be fully ensured and this effort will also help in improving the professional capacity of farmers’ bodies. He further directed the PIDA management to provide technical assistance to the FOs in record management and Abiana collection so that they could produce the required documents during the financial audit. 
The Punjab government is working hard to improve the canals infrastructure through irrigation sector reforms program and the role of farmers is very pivotal in it, concluded the minister.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


         The Secretary Irrigation Punjab/MD PIDA Malik Hassan Iqbal has disclosed that a composite training programme has been approved for the capacity building of 53 farmer organizations of area water board of Lower Bari Doab Canal Circle Sahiwal. An amount of Rs. 44.12 million would be executed on the said project.
            He stated this in a meeting at his office which held to review the various institutional reforms activities under Lower Bari Doab Canal improvement project which is being implemented in Okara, Sahiwal and Khanewal districts to rehabilitate the canal system. The meeting was attended by GM PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor, GM (Operations) Mohabbat Khan, Project Director LBDCIP Riaz Rasheed and Chief Executive LBDC, AWB Mian Nisar Akbar. The MD PIDA was told that as many as 53 farmer organizations have been constituted under the Lower Bari Doab canal improvement project in three different districts including Okara, Sahiwal and Khanewal. The said project is being completed with financial support from the Asian Development Bank. The members of the Area Water Boards have also been selected and now it is imperative to professionally trained them so that the FO members could efficiently run the canal affairs. The MD PIDA was further told that the proposed training plan would start from March 15 and it will conclude on 30 June 2015. It is planned that the members of FOs General body, Management committee and Area Water Board besides the field staff of Irrigation and PIDA will be imparted training which would be completed within an amount of Rs. 44 million.            Secretary Irrigation Malik Hassan Iqbal observed that the farming community is the lynchpin of the whole irrigation system adding that all necessary support and facilitation will be provided to them so that they could play their role in the agricultural productivity. He directed GM PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor to ensure efficient arrangements for the said training as well as selecting suitable places where famers could reach amicably.     

Monday, 10 February 2014

Steps to improve Abiana Collection

Secretary Irrigation Punjab/Managing Director PIDA Malik Hassan Iqbal has said that all-out efforts should be made to collect Abiana dues so that sufficient local finances be made available for the improvement of irrigation infrastructure in Punjab.
He stated this in a departmental circular issued to the chief executives of all five Area Water Boards in Punjab. In his circular, he said that all the stakeholders including the farming community will be taken on board for the collection of 100 percent Abiana in Punjab. He said that this would help in providing sufficient funds for the rehabilitation and improvement of water channels and other developmental works.
In this circular, he maintained that the rationale of giving participation to farmers in canal management is to reduce the non-developmental cost on the governmental kitty as well as to give a sense of participation to the farming community. He asked that all the tiers including farmer organizations, PIDA and Irrigation Department officials should work jointly so that collective objectives could be achieved. He directed that the General Manager (Operations) PIDA will overall supervise the Abiana recovery campaign, while field officials will present their performance reports on monthly basis.  
The Secretary Irrigation further directed that complete lists of Abiana defaulters should be prepared on priority basis so that government dues could be recovered from them under Land Revenue Act.  He further told that a sum of Rs.1063.693 million is pending as Abiana dues and added that special committees should be constituted in every Area Water Board under the convener ship of Chairmen of AWBs so that prompt progress could be made in this regard.
MD PIDA Malik Hassan Iqbal, in his circular, also directed to all the Executive Engineers, SDOs, and farmer organizations as well as Chief Executive of Area Water Boards to speed up their actions to minimize the water theft in their respective areas. This would help to make available water at the tail-ends. He further directed that field officials should keep close liaison with the police so that legal action could be taken against the delinquents well in time.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Legal Framework for Abiana Collection

The Chairman PIDA Mian Yawar Zaman has stated that provincial government will do necessary legislation to enhance the collection of Abiana for the availability of local funds to administer the repair and maintenance of water channels. He added that payment of Abiana is the primary responsibility of farming community which must not be overlooked.

It was stated by him while addressing a group of farmers in the presence of journalists and PIDA officers in his office. He said that irrigation service delivery has improved in different parts of Punjab where irrigation management has been transferred to farmers organizations. Participatory irrigation management system has also helped in getting rid of unnecessary non development expenditures, he added. While focusing the farming community, he said that irrigation infrastructures are our national assets and their protection is our joint responsibility.  He believed that the purpose of farmers participation in irrigation system is to develop sense of ownership among the farmers of Punjab.

 He concluded that the element of sustainability is directly linked with maximum Abiana collection so the FOs should deposit the collected amounts in government kitty for the availability of funds.  

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Briefing to New Managing Director

The Secretary Irrigation Punjab/ Managing Director PIDA, Malik Hasan Iqbal has said that a comprehensive strategy to curtail water theft and improve the recovery of water cess (Abiana) will be devised so as the benefits of irrigation water be provided to all farmers equitably.

He stated this in response to a briefing given to him by the General Manager (TM) of Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) after holding the charge of PIDA’S Managing Director. The General Manager (op) Muhabbat Khan and General Manager (Finance) Malik Salim were also present during the briefing session.

The MD was apprised that PIDA had imparted irrigation management to 400 Farmers Organizations (FOs) on distributary canals by establishing five Area Water Boards at main canals. These FOs are performing their functions under rules and regulations regarding water supply up to tail ends, Abiana collection, repair & maintenance of channels as well as their de silting. The GM (TM) further told that the FOs are practically trained in the areas of technical, revenue and management aspects of canal operation for better service delivery. The formation of FOs is done through a transparent elections process, GM PIDA added.

The Managing Director PIDA Malik Hasan Iqbal was of the view that the farming community was the actual beneficiary of irrigation system so the equal distribution of water and collection of Abiana would be improved with the help of farmers organizations. He advised the PIDA officers to submit their recommendations for the betterment of participatory irrigation system.      

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Participation in Canals de silting

The Chairman PIDA Mian Yawar Zaman has directed the Farmers Organizations to actively participate in the de silting of canals program. De silting of water channels is inevitable for the proper flow of water and its availability in the tail portions, he added.
It was stated by him while chairing a progress review meeting in PIDA headquarters. The meeting was attended by the General Manager (TM), Afzal Anjum Toor, General Manager (OP) Muhabbat Khan, General Manager (Finance) Muhammad Salim Malik, Deputy General Manager (SM) Syed Shaiq Hussain Abidi, Deputy General Manager (OP) Mian abdul Rashid, Deputy General Manager (F) Najmus Saqib Rehmani and other concerned officers.
The Chairman while addressing in the meeting, directed the officers to facilitate the FOs in preparing cost estimates and tendering process for de silting works. He said that the participatory irrigation management system has been adopted to strengthen the role of farming community in canal operations and it needs to be supported vehemently. The chairman said that irrigation water is the basic right of every farmer so the FOs and other concern should make the de silting campaign more effective to achieve the target of water supply up to tail ends.  

On the Job Trainings Plan

PIDA is implementing on the job training plan which has been prepared in collaboration with JICA.  As per program, the practical training workshops will be implemented in the area water boards of Bahawalnagar, DG Khan and Faisalabad for the officers of PIDA, Irrigation and Agriculture Departments to improve their professional capacity regarding participatory irrigation management.
The master trainers of PIDA will conduct training sessions under the supervision of Deputy General Manager (Trainings) while the capacity building expert of JICA Mr. Takashi Fujisaki will also observe the quality.