Caretaker Provincial Minister for Irrigation Haji Fazal Elahi on Sunday said that modern irrigation system has become indispensable for agricultural self-sufficiency, while the construction of canals and dams can make more barren land arable and this is among the top priorities of the government. He revealed that the federal government has given us a formula for the distribution of the water of the Indus River among the four provinces under the IRSA Act. According to this act, he said, our province’s share is 8.78 million cubic feet (14 per cent), but due to the lack of an active canal system, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cannot use its share of water property. He added that Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) Lift Low Gravity project has been approved with the federal and provincial partnership, the cost of which being shared by our province is 35%, but due to a lack of resources, this crucial project has been delayed. If this project is completed on time, he maintained, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be able to use enough of its share of water, which will bring 2,86,000 acres of additional land under cultivation. He was speaking at Pakhtunkhwa Radio’s program “Pakhtunkhwa Online”. Prof Dr. Abasin Yousafzai was the host while Ghulam Hussain Ghazi, Station Director of Pakhtunkhwa Radio was also present on the occasion. The Irrigation Minister agreed with the viewpoint of the host that the role of the English era in developing the canal system of the subcontinent was great, but after independence, he said, major irrigation projects were completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These included Warsak Canal System (150,000 acres), Gomal Zam Dam Canal System (194,000 acres), CRBC Canal System (360,000 acres) and Marwat Canal System (170,000 acres). Apart from this, he said, work on major projects like capacity enhancement of Baran Dam, Remodeling of Warsak Canal System, Pehur High-Level Project and Seran Valley Right Bank Canal Project (Mansehra) is progressing rapidly. On the alarming situation of continuous fall of underground water levels in different cities of the province, he said that there are only two ways to prevent the groundwater level from falling further. First, to stop the ruthless wastage of water as he said, people should meet their water needs from above-ground water. Secondly, he said canal system development was a must through the cities and revealed that to raise the water level in Peshawar, work was in progress on Jabba Dam and Warsak Dam Tunnel. He said that Rs 7 billion have been paid to the concerned firm for the construction of a second tunnel parallel to the Warsak Dam Tunnel and the wide canals to be taken out of it will irrigate millions of acres of additional dry barren lands in the suburbs of Peshawar and would prove to be the milestone of the green revolution in the area While there was also an urgent need to launch such projects in other cities, he added.