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July 12, 2018

Baizai Irrigation Channel becomes ‘useless’


July 12, 2018

PESHAWAR: The long-awaited Baizai Irrigation Channel Project completed at an estimated cost of Rs3.5 billion with an expectation to irrigate 25,000 acres of agriculture land both in Mardan and Malakand districts of the province has become useless for the farmers due to lack of interest of the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government.

The project includes a main canal of 39 kilometres length along with three douches of 1626 meters length starting from Wartair Doandi (Malakand) and ending up at the Matta village of Katlang tehsil in Mardan district.

It merits a mention here that the project was completed in a record period of three and half years during the coalition government of Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party and water was released in the newly constructed Baizai Irrigation Canal on May 31, 2015. This brought joy to the faces of the local people and they hoped for a green revolution in the area.

The project will be helpful in increasing agricultural production and reducing poverty. Water is still flowing in the main canal. However, it is of no use to people of the area for lack of revenue chakbandi which is of utmost importance for even distribution of water in the project command area.

The revenue chakbandi has not been completed after a lapse of more than three years.

The precious water in the canal is drained into natural drains through escape channels due to non-utilisation. Also, the people in the area are highly perturbed because of lack of chakbandi. The local people have quarreled over the use of the water use.The previous PTI government was least interest in this important project and the farmers couldn’t benefit from it. Also, the provincial Irrigation Department didn’t play its role to make the project operational to benefits the farmers. The farmers are now looking to the caretaker Chief Minister of Justice (r) Dost Mohammad Khan to undertake revenue chakbandi in the project area and complete it as early as possible so that the people of the area could reap the intended benefits from the irrigation water facilities. This will enable them to enhance agricultural production and result in socio-economic uplift of the area.

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