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.