ISLAMABAD – The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) project of Community development worth Rs 1,056.503 million including foreign exchange component of Rs 352.168 million on rehabilitation of salt affected and waterlogged land has saved thousand of hectares of area in Punjab province.

“The project has saved and rehabilitated more than 62,000 hactres of salt-affected and waterlogged land in the Districts of Jhang, Sargodha, and Hafizabad in the province of Punjab”, a Planning Commission report of April 1,2011 to March 31,2012 revealed.

According to the report, the ECNEC considered the summery of July 25, 2011, submitted by Planning and Development Division on “Community development project for rehabilitation of salt-affected and waterlogged Lands (Revised) and approved the project at a revised costs of Rs.1056.503 million including UNDP assistance of Rs 352.168 million.

The report added that during the period of April 1,2011 to March 31,2012, under the project has also installed 327 tube well formed 357 implement pools, established 129 nurseries and 385 demonstration plots and mobilized 643 community organizations with their focus on water logged and salinity related issues of the area.

The Report further said that the original project was approved by the ECNEC on August 8, 2005 at a cost of Rs.795.519 million including UNDP contribution of Rs.265.153 million for a period of 40 months.

The objectives of the project were reducing rural poverty by improving income and livelihoods through enhanced productivity and protection and conservation of natural resources base through recovery and rehabilitation of salt affected and waterlogged lands in the districts of Jhang, Sargodha and Hafizabad in Punjab province.