President calls for devising strategy for lining of canals

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called on the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the Ministry of Water and Power to devise a strategy for lining of canals and water courses in all parts of the country. The strategy should aim at permanently resolving the problem of heavy losses of water in the irrigation system, save agricultural land from water logging and also to enhance crop production, he said.

The President said that Pakistan had an agro-based economy and the prosperity of the people of the country was dependent on agricultural development for which irrigation system was a lifeline.President Zardari was chairing a meeting on lining of canals, power generation and small and medium dams here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.The meeting was attended among others by Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Privatization and Water and Power, M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General, Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Dy Chairman Planning Commission, Kamal Majidullah, SAPM on Water Resources, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, provincial irrigation & food ministers, Khalil Ahmad, Ambassador at Large, provincial secretaries irrigation, WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durani, APTMA Chairman, PEPCO MD, PPIB MD and other senior officials of relevant ministries and departments.

Briefing newsmen, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that in line with the vision of the President to concentrate on lining water channels, building a number of small to medium dams in the country to save precious water resources for their optimum utilization and generate power, the meeting was in continuation of the previous meetings held to review the progress made so far in this regard.The President said that despite economic stress in the country, the government was tapping all available resources to ensure requisite financing for projects related to irrigation, power generation and construction of dams.The President was updated on lining of canals, power generation and small and medium dams in different parts of the country.The President advised the Ministry of Water and Power and the provincial governments to speed up work on construction of new dams in order to not only meet the growing requirements of irrigation, power and drinking water but also to empower women of the area by free distribution of state land in command areas of the newly constructed dams among them.The small and medium dams, whose progress was reviewed at the meeting, include Darawat and Nai Gaj in Sindh and Naulong, Winder and Hingol dam projects in Balochistan.WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani gave a briefing on building of dams in the country. – APP