Lahore: The Secretary Irrigation Punjab, Capt. (r) Saif Anjum, has asked the water experts to submit their recommendations for the Punjab Growth Strategy (PGS).
Addressing a high-level working group here on Monday, constituted to prepare recommendations for the irrigation sector’s efficiency, which would be the part of the PGS, the secretary requested the group members to submit their proposals, keeping in view the themes of sustainability of the irrigation system, financing options, groundwater management, floods, climate change and environment, including policy framework.
In response, the participants praised the idea of growth strategy, and presented their individual views for the improvement of the irrigation sector. They focused on the construction of mega reservoirs on main rivers as well as the optimal use of irrigation water.
They also called for improving the working of department’s administration by involving the stakeholders in the affairs of canal operations. The need for having a single law to deal with the water sector, rather than having different laws, was also stressed. “There should be strong legal provisions to protect groundwater from pollution,” one of the experts recommended in the meeting.
The meeting ended on a consensus that the irrigation department needed to educate the farmers for increasing the productivity. The next meeting of the working group will be held on coming Friday.
The group consists of P&D Board ex-chairman Suleman Ghani, former secretaries, Irrigation, Arif Nadeem, Mansoob Ali Zaidi, Rab Nawaz and Riaz Ahmed Khan, ex-members WAPDA, Khalid Mutadullah and Ahmad Khan Bhatti, P&D Board Member Dr. Abid Bodla, ex-chief engineers, Irrigation, Mian Israr-ul-Haq, Malik Ahmad Khan, World Bank Consultant Aslam Rasheed, IWMI Director Dr. Arif Anwar, WWF DG Hammad Naqi Khan, Director WIT LUMS Dr. Muhammad Abu Bakar, a water expert from LUMS, Laila Kasuri, a progressive farmer, Rabia Sultan, and ex-principal of PU Law College, Dr. Dil Muhammad Malik.
Besides that PMIU Chief Habibullah Bodla, PIDA Deputy General Manager Muhammad Afzal Anjum Toor and SPRU Director Dr. Muhammad Javed also attended the meeting.
Source: The Nation