Punjab plans 3 irrigation projects costing Rs 13b
LAHORE: The Punjab government has planned three projects worth Rs 13 billion to meet the irrigation and potable water needs in arid areas, which would bring hundreds of thousand acres of barren land under cultivation, said Punjab Irrigation Minister Chaudhry Aamir Sultan Cheema.
He said this while addressing a seminar on Sunday. The minister said under the ‘Flood Management of Hill Torrents’ pilot project, diversionary structures were constructed on Kahala Hill torrents. Mr Cheema said these structures controlled the torrents from flowing into the adjoining areas, which provided precious water to cultivate 75,000 acres of land from 6,000 acres of land in the past and also preserved the land from destruction.
Mr Cheema said the government has planned to construct 13 such diversionary structures under this project costing Rs 5 billion on hill torrents in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Mianwali district providing irrigation water to 475,000 acres of land.
In Cholistan, flood channels operating for a hundred days provided irrigation to summer crops only, said Mr Cheema. He said the lack of irrigation water for the rest of the year prevented further cultivation, which lead to massive migration and poverty. The government has planned to construct 375 village reservoirs costing Rs 3 billion to bring prosperity to the area, he said.
In Potohar areas, the rainfall during monsoon period was recorded between 400 millimetres and 1,400 millimetres but only a small portion of this potential was being utilised, said the minister, adding that of this 1.88 million acre feet water, only 0.14 million acre feet water was being utilised through 31 small dams. He said these small dams remarkably improved the social and economic sectors. The government has planned to construct 30 more small dams, 100 linked dams and 200 village reservoirs costing Rs 5 billion in the area, which will develop the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and livestock sectors, the minister concluded.