PESHAWAR:The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Irrigation Department has completed 44 developmental projects and initiated certain new schemes during the last one year, according to a performance report released on Monday.
According to the report, the projects completed include the construction of Gul Dheri Dam and Jalozai Dam in Nowshera district and Kundal Dam in Swabi with a capacity of irrigating about 7,000 acres land.
For water storage and bringing vast barren land under irrigation, construction of several other dams has also been undertaken which include: Pezzu Dam in Lakki Marwat with an estimated cost of Rs758.462 million, Chapra Dam in Haripur (Rs.888.873 million), Chamak Maira Dam in Abbottabad (Rs.1130.538 million), and Manchurra Dam in Mansehra district (Rs.2885.644 million.
Also, several canal projects have been initiated. Construction of Pehur High Canal Extension Project is underway in Swabi district costing Rs10.156 billion, being funded by Asian Development Bank. It is estimated that the project on completion would irrigate about 30,500 acres of land. Similarly, Siran Right Bank Canal project costing Rs2850.522 million would bring around 12000 acres of agricultural land under irrigation network in Mansehra district. Baran Dam, with an estimated cost of Rs5 billion, would store water and would benefit an area of 100000 acres in Bannu and Lakki Marwat districts.
Further, as per the guidelines of national water policy, the provincial government has increased allocation of water sector from 7.40% to 11% in annual development programme. For streamlining and ensuring smooth service delivery, the department has taken various steps such as creation of new position of deputy secretary and other administrative officers, establishment of computer cell for the effective implementation of provincial government's reform initiative and E-Tendering, creation of dashboard at each district level to promptly respond to the Citizen’s Portal.
Furthermore, the Irrigation Department has also set the targets for the next year, which focus on construction of new small dams in the province including newly merged districts, increasing storage capacity of existing dams and remodeling of canals in different districts.
Next year, various dam projects would be initiated, which include Bara and Jabba dams in Khyber district, Chashma Akhor Khel and Makh Banda Dams in Karak district and Khattak Banda Dam in Kohat.
Chashma Right Bank Canal project is also part of the next year target, which on completion would bring an area of 286,000 acres of barren land under irrigation.
For proper execution of developmental schemes in the merged areas, a new wing comprising a chief engineer, superintending engineers and executive engineers in each district would be established.