Kacchi Canal dream comes true

AT long last, dream of Kacchi Canal has come true with PML(N) government taking yet another credit for successful implementation of an otherwise moribund project. As the project, inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday, would irrigate 72,000 acres of land in far-flung areas of Dera Bugti district, the premier rightly observed that it was not an ordinary project, as it would change destiny of people of the district.
Kachhi Canal off-takes from Taunsa Barrage on Indus River and passes through districts Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur in Punjab and then meanders through districts Dera Bugti, Naseerabad, Bolan and Jhal Magsi in Balochistan, the province in which the project’s command area lies and that is why it has been described by Mr Abbasi as symbol of love between the two provinces. Kacchi Canal is also known as ‘Green Revolution’ project of Balochistan as besides irrigating barren lands and the resultant prosperity for local population it would also mitigate drinking water needs of about two million people in an area where water is scarce and a big problem. People facing impediments mainly because of the law and order situation, law enforcing agencies’ restrictions and shortage of funds shall benefit from this project. It was initiated about fifteen years back and could not make any headway during tenures of two successive governments of PML (Q) or President Musharraf and PPP that miserably failed to remove bottlenecks in its implementation. No doubt, irregularities, floods, torrential rains, limited working hours and adverse law and order situation in the tribal areas of Rajanpur in Punjab and Dera Bugti in Balochistan, major constraint in completion of this high profile project was inadequate PSDP funding. However, like all other mega projects, credit for speeding up work and removing hurdles in its completion went to Mian Nawaz Sharif. Projects like this can genuinely change the socio-economic landscape of Balochistan as these have the potential to engage hundreds of thousands of people in positive pursuits, preventing them from falling into hands of mischief-mongers. No investment is high enough to realise the objective of bringing backward and neglected areas at par with other regions of the country. Prosperity delayed is a crime and a major change throughout the country can be effected if all provincial governments and governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir realise this concept and prepare and implement area-specific programmes and projects for uplift of backward regions.

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