PTCL commits to restore services

in flood-affected areas

KARACHI  (STAFF REPORTER): The recent floods have affected a large part of the PTCL network in the flood affected areas. Flood waters have not only flowed into the exchanges, but cable system has also been damaged by the gushing water, resulting in temporary disruption of services to the customers. With a commitment to restore services at the earliest, PTCL has designated special teams to survey the affected areas and as soon as the flood waters begin receding, the repair and service restoration work shall be commenced. Regretting the inconvenience caused, PTCL urges its customers to report on 1218, any service interruption, line and equipment damages they may witness during this period.

Middleman must be eliminated from sugar industry

LAHORE (APP): Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Sikander Hayat Khan Bosan has said that sugarcane growers and mills were inter dependent and problems should be resolved for efficient working. Addressing the Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists (PSST) 48th Annual Convention at a local hotel on Monday, the minister said that Sugar Industry in Pakistan has dynamic history as starting from two sugar mills the number has grown to 84. He said that the ministry has always focussed on improvement of per acre yield of sugarcane crop and with the grace of Allah Almighty there have been positive steps and indicators in this direction during last two decades.

“The average recovery in Pakistan has touched the level of

10 per cent while the average yield has reached almost 57 tons per hectare”,he added.

The minister said that scientists and sugarcane research institutes deserve credit for this improvement but still there was a lot more to achieve and the efforts should be continued in this regard to get closer to international targets.

Sikander said that there was issue of efficient and non-efficient mills and it could be tackled by upgradation of non efficient mills.

He further said that due to bumper crop of sugarcane in last two years the country has become its exporter.

Undesired middleman should be eliminated from sugar industry for better working, the minister added.

The minister said that government has no intention to encourage low recovery or banned varieties like CO 1148 and others.

Later,talking to media the minister said that at this stage it was difficult to assess the damage to crops. He said that if water recedes quickly it would be less harmful to crops.

The minister said that the national consensus should be evolved for new dams to boost water availability for agriculture as well as food security.

Economic targets likely to be

reviewed owing to flood

ISLAMABAD (Online): Economic targets set for the current financial year 2014-15 are likely to be reviewed in the wake of massive destruction caused by floodwater in the country. A senior officer of finance ministry told devastation wreaked by floodwater has taken heavy toll on agriculture sector. Acute shortage of agriculture output is being feared. The industrial and business activities are likely to be affected adversely.  Sources said the damages emanated from the flood will be assessed after overcoming the post flood situation. Later it will be decided if the economic benchmarks set for the current fiscal have to be reviewed or otherwise.

Finance ministry sources said GDP growth rate, fiscal deficit, tax revenue and other economic targets will have to be curtailed because the situation arising out of dharnas staged by PTI and PAT has delivered set back to the tune of Rs 1000 billion to the national economy and now the floods have aggravated the situation.

A meeting in this regard is likely to be held next month to gauge the estimate of loss caused by flood water.

Bio-Gas project launched to

discourage abundant forest cutting

CHITRAL (APP): To discourage abundant forest cutting in Chitral district, Shandur Bio-Gas project was introduced after a successful experiment by a local NGO at Booni some 75 kilometer off here Monday. Well-known social worker Sultan Mehmood Khan was chief guest on the occasion while Engineer Qadir Shah presided over the introductory session. Addressing the event Managing Director Shandur Bio-Gas Muhammad Ali Mujahid said that people are compelled to cut forests abundantly for fuel consumption as natural gas is unavailable in Chitral and in summer season temperature is below freezing point.

Besides cooking people are using wood for keeping their houses warmth which cause natural disaster in the shape of flood.

To overcome these damages Shandur Bio-Gas programme introduced.

Bio-Gas is a byproduct of animal muck (cow dung) which is very cheap and economical as comparative to other gas.

The process of Bio-Gas is to dug a 10 feet well with cemented base and walls which is filled with animals muck and covered then it produce gas which is used as a fuel for cooking and heating purposes.

To make this plan successful a nongovernmental organization is providing financial support for the success of this plan.

Speakers on the occasion demanded the government and NGOs to play their role in such planning in other parts of Chitral too as wood is very expensive and if this plan would become successful it would reduce forest cutting and the poor segment of the society would be benefited.

Sultan Mehmood, Qadir Shah, Allaoudin, Muhammad Ali Mujahid, ex-DHO Dr. Sher Qayum, Sarfarz Ali Khan, Social Organizer SRSP Fakhruddin, Nawab Ali Khan advocate, Zakir Muhammad, Zafarullah, Khan Sahib and others also addressed on the occasion.

Performance award for serving Chitral was presented to senior journalist and President Chitral Union of Journalists Gul Hammad Farooqi.

Talking to our correspondent Dr Sher Qayum said that Bio-Gas is health friendly and have no effect on health and environment. The plan will play vital role in eliminating of deforestation in Chitral.

About 15.1 million cotton bales

production expected

ISLAMABAD (APP): About 15.1m cotton bales production is expected during the current crop season as cotton sowing witnessed 4.5pc increase in Punjab and 5.8pc in Sindh Province. The Punjab had achieved over 94pc of crop sowing target set for the current crop season, said Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of Textile Industry, Dr. Khalid Abdullah. He said that the crop was cultivated  over 5.68 million acres as against the set targets of 6 million acres which was up by 4.5pc as compared to the sowing of same period last year. He said that cotton production in Punjab is expected to reach over 10.5m bales as the area under crop production has registered significant increase.

Meanwhile, in Sindh Province crop production is expected to reach 4.5 million bales as the province has achieved 92 per cent of the set sowing targets, he added.

Crop had been cultivated about 1.48 million acres of land as against

the set targets of  1.6 million acres for the recent crop season, he added.

Cotton Commissioner said that filed formations has reported 25-30 maund crop output per acre in Sindh Province due to favorable weather conditions which was indicating a healthy crop.

He said that crop position in Fasilabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Rahimyar Khan regions of Punjab was satisfactory and upto the mark where plant population also increased with better development and less Cotton leave curl attacks.

Dr. Abdullah said that Gothki, Sarkand and Mirpur Khas regions of the

Sindh Province has also witnessed better crop out-put during the recent season.

Cotton Commissioner said that fortunately upto now, cotton crop was not affected from the recent rains and floods as no any untoward situation was recorded in cotton growing areas.