Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

We need water management

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

It is better known to readers than in my opinion Malakand Division has got rich water resources such as the Swat river, the Panjkora river and the Chitral river in addition to river Indus.

These resources of energy are not less than gold mines as water is called ‘ liquid gold’ and can easily be turned into cash income if political leadership shows right vision  by shedding off selfishness, political scoring  targets and other motives  but this has not been shown from that quarter. Political stability also matters. Political leaders should talk of collective weal and show it in their manifestos when campaigning for elections and re-elections. But Alas! This is not noticeable anywhere in the arena of politicians.

Besides building dams for flood control as well as hydro powerhouses, these rivers should be utilized by digging water channels to irrigate wastelands and barren lands all over the province. In order to boost agricultural products such as wheat, sugarcane, rice, corn, barley, sun flower, soyabean etc., fruit production should also be developed as the four seasons of the year are very suitable for all kind of land produce.

I have not seen construction of any irrigation channel in both districts of Dir, Swat and Chitral except a few in Lower Chitral some decades back. At present, this side of economy has been ignored. The agriculture department should be active and vibrant and more funds have to be allocated to this sector.

Chitral has got very rich soil for horticulture. This side of the topic has been ignored and few small nurseries have been created with very limited scope. This is unpardonable.

Nurseries have to be established almost in all valleys of both the districts of Chitral for fruit trees. This fruit production topic as well as fertility of soil has to be studied buy agriculture scientists to assess the quality of the soil and then recommend the fruit varieties like apricots, apples, pear, cherries, walnuts and communities have to be given awareness and various aspects of this fruit production side of Chitral has to be extended and basic agriculture education has to be given to all land owners.

It should not be left only to a few NGOs but the government must take keen interest in the promotion of land and fruit produce to meet the demands of local and national market with proper strategy to reach International markets. More irrigation channels have to be constructed to barren lands with an eye on the improvement of road system of the region.

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