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Irrigation system in Khairabad village goes solar

CHITRAL, April 19: The first ever solar powered irrigation scheme launched by Sarhad Rural Support Program (SRSP) in the province has met success in Khairabad village near Drosh town as the river water gushed to the arid wasteland when the button of solar penal was switched on. The scheme financed by the Program of Economic Advancement and Community Empowerment (PEACE) has been designed to pump the river water into an altitude of 360 feet at two stages where solar powered water pumps have been installed. solar copyIn a function held here on Saturday, the scheme was inaugurated by the chief executive officer of SRSP Shahzada Masoodul Mulk which was also attended by MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin, MPA Sardar Hussain and representatives of civil society in large number. Speaking on the occasion, Shahzada Masood said that the people in the whole district had attached great importance with this scheme launched on experimental basis as the area faces acute shortage of water both for irrigation and drinking purposes. He said that the Chitral river flowing longitudinally across the valley from Baroghil to Arandu at a stretch of 340 kilometers has its topographic position such it cannot be channelized to irrigate the vast expanses of arid tracts of land. “The success of the experiment heralds prosperity in the area as thousands of arid land will be rendered arable by launching similar schemes”, he said adding that the land holding of the farmers will be increased manifold. He said that prone to natural disasters, the channels for gravity irrigation systems suspended by torrential floods but the solar powered lift irrigation system gives uninterrupted water supply. Present on the occasion were MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin, MPA Sardar Hussain, board member of SRSP, Ehsanullah Khan, district program manager Tariq Ahmed, project manager of PEACE, Engineer Zahid Khan and others termed it a great achievement of the organization. They said that Chitral was a unique agro-ecological zone which had a great potential for the production of some varieties of fruits and vegetables and the acute shortage of irrigation water was the main obstacle. The solar powered system, they said, will now make it possible to exploit the potential to its full thereby bringing prosperity and raising the standard of life. Later, the scheme was formally inaugurated by MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin who pressed the button of the solar penal to energize the pumps drawing from the river.–Zahiruddin (photos Jahan Zeb Rahi & GH Farooqui)]]>

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