U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W), Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro organized a Graduate Seminar on Operation and Maintenance Challenges for Irrigation Infrastructure held in the Center’s auditorium on Friday. Engr. Ghulam Mustafa Ujjan, Environment and Social Development Specialist in Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project (SIAPEP) conducted the seminar.
Engr. Ujjan while speaking in the seminar said that absence of effective monitoring mechanism in the infrastructure, effective water governance and the fair distribution of water are still a big challenges for the irrigation department of Sindh. He said that the unwilling workforce, deferred maintenance, financial constraints, capacity of staff, law and order situation, are major challenges in operation and maintenance the irrigation system in the province. Fixed design, supply based system, inadequate drainage, unfair distribution, low efficiency are major issues in the irrigation department, he added. He stated that the lining of irrigation canals, if not maintained regularly and properly, were not useful for any of the purposes. He emphasized on the institutional reforms in the water sector institutes as to benefit the masses from the bounties of natural resources like water. Quoting the example of his tenure as Director Nara Canal of Irrigation Department, where he served before joining SIAPEP, said that the total 700 out of total 3000 workforce was willing to work. In question-answer session of seminar, Engr. Ujjan endorsed the views shared by the students that the better water governance, institutional reforms, women participation in water management are allied with socio-economic, political and land reforms in the country.
On this occasion, Prof. Dr. Bakhshal Lashari, Project Director USPCAS-W MUET introduced the speaker and shared that they both also worked in the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), whereas Prof. Dr. Rasool Bux Mahar, Deputy Director Academics and Research of the Center, presented souvenirs to the speaker. The students of the different departments of the Center participated in the seminar.