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PIDA...Ensuring farmers participation in irrigration management.   read more | ...مزيد اردو میں معلومات کے لے یہاں کلک کریں

The Punjab irrigation system consists of a major part of Indus Basin Irrigation system. It is a contiguous system and occupies a pivotal role in Pakistan’s economy and accounts for 80% of the country’s agricultural production. This system consists of 22 main canal systems and 13 barrages/headworks. The aggregate length of canals is 23000 miles with off-taking capacity of 1,30,000 cusecs. The Punjab irrigation system serves 26.78 million acres of cultureable lands and existing average cropping intensity is 130%.

The river supplies are distributed to agricultural fields through a network of main canals, branch canals, distributaries, minors and outlets / watercourse. Due to system constraints and water management problems, the efficiency of the system is ranging from 35-40% in terms of efficient water use. The major problems being faced are reliability of irrigation supplies to farmers, equity and sustainability in physical and financial terms.


On cognizant of the problems in irrigated agriculture and water management in the province, the Government of Punjab decided to adopt the institutional reforms in irrigation sector. Hence, during June -1997, the Punjab Provincial Assembly, passed the “Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority Act”.  This was an important step in the process of implementing the necessary institutional reforms in the irrigation sector. The reforms area focused on the decentralization of the irrigation system management, through public and private partnership, participation of farmers and resource governance.

The Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) has been set up at provincial level with representation of farmers and the government. The Act provides setting up of Area Water Boards at Canal Command Levels,  including farmers and Government Representatives  and establishment of Farmers Organizations at distributary levels, an entirely farmer based entity. Hence this Act provides decentralization of a centrally controlled irrigation system (provincial Irrigation Department) into a three tier public – private partnership based management system, as explained above.

The main objectives of reforms initiatives as brought out in PIDA Act are as follows:

  1. Implement the strategy of the Government of the Punjab for streamlining the Irrigation & Drainage system.
  2. To replace the existing administrative set-up and procedures with more responsive, efficient and transparent arrangement;
  3. Achieve economical and effective O&M of the irrigation, drainage and flood control system;
  4. To make the irrigation and drainage network sustainable on a long term basis; and

Introduce the participation of beneficiaries in the O&M of the irrigation and drainage system.


The new institutions shall broadly perform the following functions.

  • PIDA would carry out all the functions of the Irrigation Wing of the PID as an autonomous body, with independent revenue collection and purchasing authority. It would be responsible for policy formulation, legal enactment and supervision of the overall management of the irrigation and drainage system in the province, including the O&M of the irrigation system from the Headworks (i.e. barrages, storage reservoirs) to the head of the main canal system;

  • Area Water Boards (AWBs) are financially self- sufficient entities at the canal command levels with functions similar to a utility company. These would be responsible for the irrigation and drainage management of the main canal system, including bulk water supplies to the head of the distributaries;

  • Farmer – managed, financially autonomous FOs would be responsible for the O&M of the distributary canals as well as the assessment and collection of water charges including the equitable distribution of canal water between all watercourses and other water users along the distributaries.

  • The AWB at LCC(E) Circle Faisalabad LCC(West) Circle, Faisalabad AWB /Bahawalnagar Canal Circle, AWB/ Derajat Canal Circle D.G. Khan have been notified and so far 300 FOs have been established and IMT to  200 FOs made upto 30-6-2007 and  to further 100 FOs , IMT will be made upto

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