The government of Pakistan launched a programme in the agriculture sector, the National Programme for Improvement of the Watercourses in the Year 2005, a project for lining of the watercourses all over Pakistan.
The employees were appointed by the government of Sindh after qualifying the Bahria University Test on merit basis. The main objectives were to improve the 33000 watercourses in Sindh. Water conservation projects believe that well-lined watercourses save around 35 percent of water, while in poorly lined canals, the water conservation rate is hardly 10 percent. It has been observed that lined watercourses take water to the tail end in 12-14 minutes while a same length katcha watercourse takes 03 hours. In the NPIW project, work was initiated in 2005. Out of the 29000 watercourses, 20000 had been lined in Sindh in few years. The programme is to continue till July-2012.
Under NPIW, growers were required to form water user association that have 2/3 representation of such farmers whose lands are served by lined watercourses. For 30 percent of the length of such watercourses that are to be lined, labour and excavation of earth work is provided by farmers.
Even though the project is to be wound up in July 2012, it will be better if the Sindh government takes serious steps in further extending lining work on said watercourses. Since the NPIW consists of experienced and skilful engineers, their services must be regularised.
To date, the employees are sitting on roads for regularisation for a few weeks but no response has come from the government to resolve the issue. To boost production and maximise its yield, it is important that NPIW employees be regularised.
Engr Abbas Ali Keerio @Benazirabad