Peshawar Uplift Programme yet to be completed by Irrigation Deptt

Farid Shinwari

PESHAWAR: Despite delay in up-gradation, widening and construction of roads on both sides of canals in provincial city, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Irrigation Department has yet to complete Peshawar Uplift Programme after four and half years of duration to facilitate the masses.

As per details, the Warsak, Kabul, Joi Sheikh and Hazarkhwani Canal as part of Peshawar Uplift Programme have not been fulfilled owing to monetary constraints and other problems, said an official of KP Irrigation Department while talking to this scribe. The construction work on four major canals traversing via in provincial city includes up-gradation, widening, roads construction, remodeling, grilling, bridging and others, he added.

The documents available divulge that the estimated cost of 2017-18 Annual Development Programme (ADP) is Rs 845.594 million for construction of roads on both sides of four canals including remodeling, grilling, picking up waste and cleanse the water. The 100 per cent allocation for financial year 2017-18 has been made by relevant quarter for completion of work on time, it added.

As per statistics, the total cost and expenditure is Rs 641.682 million in year 2017-18 up to date on the project and the remaining amount will also be utilized on remaining work in different areas of the city. However, 88 per cent financial utilization has been ensured till now out of 100 per cent in 2017-18, the data stated.

Beside, Rs 56 million amounts is also released annually for repairing and maintenance work of Kabul, Joi Sheikh and Hazarkhwani Canal since 2009 and the amount was increased in last two years, it further stated. The details added that 80,000 acre land is irrigated by abovementioned canals which are a major source of provision of water to this land.

The work on various structures is underway on four canals which would be completed in near future to ensure smooth flow of water used for multiple purposes, said Chief Engineer South Irrigation Department KP Zahid Abbas. He informed that Rs 12 billion had been approved for the Warsak Canal by federal government but later it announced to pay Rs 50 per cent of the total amount to KP government.

As the establishment of tunnel, pumping, heavy machinery and other work was part of Warsak Canal and still the construction work is underway, he said and adding the tunnel will have 750 cusecs water to irrigate barren land and for drinking purpose to Peshawar city, he stated. However, removal of encroachments from both sides of the canals and slow funding by the Federal Government had been delaying the execution of the project since 2009, he regretted.

He categorically said that the delay on project always cause owing to financial constraints, establishment of bus rapid transit (BRT) and other problems. Though, widening and reconstruction of roads on both sides of Warsak, Kabul and other canals is about to complete in coming days, he claimed. Chief Engineer said that 90,000 acre land is dependent on Warsak Canal, and it is operational for entire year except one month in entire year.

Rehmanullah of Afridi Garhi, Gulbahar No 5 in Peshawar, who resides on bank of Kabul Canal said that earlier, there was no grilling, widening of roads and construction of sidewalls on both sides of canal but right now, the work on most part of it has been completed. He expressed displease over non-completion of construction work on one side road of Kabul Canal and saying the work is continue in slow pace.

“The price of land alongside the Warsak Canal has been enhanced after construction work fulfilled on most part of it” he claimed. Referring the encroachment and dumping of waste in Warsak Canal, he added that it had not only polluted the canal but also the environment, he informed.

Comparing the canal with previous days, he expressed his viewpoints and saying it is now safe and even kids and other animals cannot drown into the water due to grilling. He claimed the flow of smooth traffic has been ensured after remodeling of Kabul Canal .

After the remodeling of Warsak Canal, it has eased their life because the construction work on both sides of road, expansion, bridging and grilling has been completed, said Rizwan Khan, a shopkeeper near board bazaar in Peshawar. The water of the canal after construction work has been purified to a greater extent which not only provided clean environment but the flow of water in canal is also in full swing right now, he stated.

Earlier, the Secretary Irrigation Department KP, Muhammad Naeem Khan in his interview had claimed to complete the work on Peshawar Uplift Programme within two and half years of time but unluckily it took four and half years to be fulfilled. As still work on some structures of canals is underway, this will take more time.