LAHORE : Irrigation Minister Mian Yawar Zaman has directed that besides long term, short term steps should immediately be taken for protecting rural population as well as agriculture crops from the devastations of hill torrents.  He was presiding over a meeting to review the steps taken for protecting coming flood devastations and coping with the situation arising due to hill torrents in Sialkot and Narowal districts at Irrigation Secretariat.  The minister said that Punjab government was evolving a comprehensive policy keeping in view the importance of rainy water for agriculture land and effective protection of rural population so that the water of hill torrents could be utilised in a better manner.

He asked assembly members to submit their recommendations to Irrigation Department at the earliest keeping in view the needs of their areas so that these recommendations could be made part of master plan. Mian Yawar disclosed that besides increasing discharge capacity of nullah Deck, reorganisation of canal structure would also be made so that the water of hill torrents could reach to River Ravi smoothly. He said that encroachments create hindrance in the flow of water of hill torrents which causes devastations. The minister directed that immediate steps should be taken for removing encroachments made on hill torrents and other irrigation installations.