RAWALPINDI – Due to the water reservoirs and soil erosion controlling structures over 45,000 acres land was made cultivable in Potohar and other arid areas of Rawalpindi region said Director General Agriculture (Field) Punjab Malik Ghulam Akbar.
Talking to APP, he said, the Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation (DSWC), Punjab, Rawalpindi Region, under water resources development program constructed total 410 Gully Plugging Spillways during five financial years from 2014-15. As many as 162 Mini Dams with 605 Water Outlets, 347 Retaining Walls, 322 Water Ponds, 79 Water Storage tanks, 70 Dugwells, 167 Gabbion Spurs and 28 Earthern Bunds were also constructed while afforestation was completed at 1894 acres land.
Malik Ghulam Akbar said the construction of the mini dams and water ponds had also developed positive environmental effects. The underground water table was rising up with more employment opportunities for the people. Fish and cattle farming businesses were now flourishing in the region, he said.
The mini dams and water bonds are used to divert water for irrigation and other purposes he said adding, the water accumulated in mini dams can be utilised for vegetable and fruit cultivation.
Fish farming was also introduced in the region which has become an additional source of income for the farmers.
All interventions of soil and water conservation were benefiting the farmers of the region, he said and informed that the department also managed to plant saplings on 1894 acres. The department under the soil conservation programme completed a large number of projects and reclaimed/benefited 45,125 acres besides collecting 282450 Acft water from rains, he added.
Nearly 80 per cent subsidy was given to the farmers for the construction of all these schemes, he added.
Due to the above interventions there had been an increase of Rs 450 million income of the benefited farmers per year as compared to the un-developed land. To a question, he informed that a mini dam is constructed on 40 acre. He said, solid steps were taken for development of agriculture in the region.
Ghulam Akbar said that the major problems of Potohar region were soil erosion and water runoff as most of the rain water was being wasted which was not only a big loss but also causes soil erosion at large scale.
Agriculture Department Punjab had taken revolutionary steps for promoting Agriculture in Potohar region which has a different environment and soil from other areas of the province, he said.