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.