Lahore: Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation Malik Ahmed Ali paid a surprise visit to Bahawalpur, Vehari and Multan for inspecting the annual desilting campaign of canals and reviewed the quality and pace of work. He directed the officials of irrigation department to evolve an affective and solid strategy for eradication of water theft incidents, desilting of canal beds and strengthening of canal banks for ensuring smooth supply of water at tale ends.
He issued this direction during inspection of desilting campaign of various canals. Chief Engineer Irrigation Bahawalpur Ch.Zafar Iqbal, Chief Engineer Multan Zone Murtaza Khurshid, Superintendent Engineer Haveli Canal Circle, officers of agriculture and irrigation departments and a large number of local farmers were present on the occasion. It may mentioned that Rs.27 million have been allocated for the annual desilting of 91 canals in Multan Zone whereas the desilting of non-perennial canals will be started after completion of desilting of perennial canals till January 31.
Malik Ahmed Ali said that it is not the duty of officers of Irrigation Department only to dispose of official matters in offices but they should pay field visits and contact the farmers to assist them in supervising the canals. He said that if the supervisors of the department looked after the canals properly, then there is no reason that the complaints of water theft are not reaching the water at tale ends should be made and the incidents of breaching of canals occur. Provincial Minister said that the officials of irrigation department should spend maximum time in field to solve all the problems of the farmers. While identifying the incidents of water theft through lift pumps during inspection of canals, the Minister ordered Chief Engineer Multan to take immediate action. He also expressed dissatisfaction over the desilting of 8-L minor and directed the Chief Engineer to improve the work of desilting. He directed officers of Cotton Research Center Multan and Agriculture Department to perform their duties efficiently and ensure attendance of officers and officials in the offices. He directed them to help the farmers for enhancing agricultural production so that not only food requirements could be fulfilled but precious foreign exchange could also be earned through exporting produce.