CPEC to include mega irrigation projects

A comprehensive strategy is being designed to take maximum benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project for the farming community and irrigation sector.

This was stated by Punjab Minister for Irrigation and Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) Chairman Amanatullah Khan Shadikhel while presiding over a meeting of a working group on energy and irrigation at his office on Thursday.

The meeting discussed and reviewed different policy options to take benefit of the western route of CPEC project passing through Punjab. The meeting was briefed in detail about the irrigation sector-related steps in the execution of CPEC.

The meeting was told that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif constituted six working groups to formulate recommendations with regard to western route of CPEC crossing along Attock, Chakwal and Mianwali in Punjab. This policy recommendation would also guide the Punjab government to the development plan relating to CPEC.

The minister was told that the irrigation department had designed different projects including Marri Dam at a cost of Rs1,500 million and Gangawal Dam (Rs1,200m) in Attock.

Similarly, the Rs2,000m Potohar Climate Smart Irrigation, Agriculture Programme has also been proposed. On the other side, different development projects costing Rs8,800m for improving irrigation infrastructure in Mianwali have also been proposed.

River training works worth Rs3,000m from Jinnah Barrage to Chashma Barrage would also be done, the meeting was further told. Moreover, Kas Umer Khan Canal system at a cost of Rs5,000m has also been proposed to the government.

The meeting noted with satisfaction that these development projects would have a positive impact on these districts which would also expedite the socioeconomic development at the grass roots.

Punjab Secretary (Energy) Dr Asad Gillani told the meeting that power-producing projects from small dams in Potohar region and from the agricultural schemes would also be designed under CPEC so that energy could be continuously provided.

Similarly, solar and coal energy projects on western route of CPEC and development of power plant projects on non-perennial canals, hill torrents and other irrigation infrastructure have also planned and further action would be taken in the light of the technical reports.

Shadikhel said the energy and irrigation departments would get technical assistance from the Planning & Development department so that the CPEC project could be fully exploited.

Source: www.dawn.com

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