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Punjab takes steps to increase water resources

National

January 14, 2021

RAWALPINDI: Punjab government is working on the construction of mini dams and ponds to irrigate the arid land in Potohar region and improve its agricultural production.

Minister for Agriculture Punjab Syed Hussain Jania Gardezi said this while chairing the progress review meeting of different wings of Agriculture Department Punjab of Rawalpindi division at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

He said that the provincial government had taken revolutionary steps for increasing water resources in Potohar region and asked the relevant officials and authorities to complete the agricultural development projects in the Potohar region in time.

He further directed that all wings of Agriculture Department Punjab should collaborate with Arid Agriculture University for solving the problem of the agriculture sector in the region. He said that water conservation in the region is very essential. “Our government is very keen on the construction of water reservoirs in the form of water ponds and water tanks in this region on subsidy.

We are also focusing on the installation of high efficient irrigation system i.e. drip and sprinkler irrigation system on 60 percent subsidy for efficient use of water for irrigation,” he said. He said that in addition, the solar system was also being provided on 50 percent subsidy for running of drip irrigation system. The minister added that to increase the area of fruit and vegetable extension workers should disseminate the advanced agricultural technology to the farming community at the doorstep. This will decrease the input cost of farmers by generating cheap electricity. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman, Vice Chancellor of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Abdul Sattar Esani, Director-General Agency for Barani Area Development, Dr. Anjum Ali, Director General Agriculture (Extension) Punjab, Sajjad Haider, Director of Agriculture (Extension) Rawalpindi Division, Muhammad Akram, Director of Soil Conservation and Dr. Iqbal Chohan, Director of Water Management Rawalpindi Division was also present.

While briefing, Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman said that the university was doing research on solving problems of the Potohar region. Officers of all wings of the Agriculture Department also gave a briefing to the minister for Agriculture Punjab. The minister was told that the target of ponds in Rawalpindi Division, under rainwater harvesting project this financial year, is 180 and out of which 44 has been completed with 50 percent subsidy.

The target of a high-efficiency irrigation system for this financial year is 1,645 acres with the installation of the solar system on 1900 acres. The minister said that 1,800 mini dams had been constructed on subsidy in the past, which is irrigating about 45 thousand acres of land. He added that 1,870 pond had been constructed on subsidy, which was capable of irrigating more than 20 thousand acres. High-efficiency irrigation system had been installed for irrigating 16 thousand acres.