Fisheries department fails to achieve its stated targets in south Punjab

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LAHORE: Fisheries project development in ‘saline and brackish waters’ of southern Punjab by the Department of Fisheries Punjab could not achieve its stated targets despite completion of the project, whereas a high percentage of fish mortality (snakeheads/shrimps) was observed, Pakistan Today learnt reliably.

According to sources, “The project was started in August 2014 and ended in June 2018. The main objective was to conduct survey and studies of saline/brackish waters in select districts for categorization of saline water areas, keeping in view their suitability for fish culture since around 6.52 million acres land in Punjab is affected by saline and brackish waters and has marginal productivity resulting into low income for the farmer.”

Sources also informed that the project was aimed to enhance productivity of such areas through culture of fish species having higher salinity tolerance.

It was also envisaged that successful implementation of the project would result in enhanced farming and aquaculture activities in saline and brackish water bodies in targeted areas with the help of studying physiochemical properties of the surface and subsoil waters with aim to get additional fish production to the tune of 300-400m tones in public and private sectors annually.

Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E) prepared a report over the project which revealed that only partial targets were achieved. The report observed that before launching such a project, the department should conduct trial studies on smaller scale to overcome hurdles during implementation.

While giving its observations the report states, “The project was approved without proper projection of RBM Indicators (Result Based Management) to assess the efficiency, sustainability and status of farming at pre and post project stage. The project was revised three times but the physical activities and expected financial gains of project interventions were not projected in PC-I. The project is deficient of FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio) values and economical model, carrying technical aspects. There is also absence of relevant data/literature/trials regarding introduction of alien species into local environment without any prior studies on smaller scale. The fish seed production/rearing facilities were generated under the scheme but their targets were not projected in the PC-I. Three project directors were changed during project execution stages”.

The report further states, “A high percentage of mortality of fish (Snakehead)/shrimps was observed in the project which should not be overlooked. No investigative research/report on mortality of prawns/shrimp/fish was carried out. Department reported that an amount of Rs1.918 million was generated through sale of fish but there are also fluctuations. There is great heterogeneity in the saline lands/waters viz saline, saline-sodic, sodic and normal. It was planned to categorize the saline waters on the basis of tests viz dissolved oxygen, total alkalinity, hardness, pH, TDS, CO2 etc of targeted districts and their classification for suitability of different fish species but the requisite compilation is lacking. Fish farming area in targeted districts especially Muzaffargarh showed an upward trend”.

The report recommends, “Before launching such projects, the department should conduct trial/experimental studies in tanks, aquariums or small ponds to assess the survival/mortality/morbidity rate and its impact on environment, rather than conducting trials directly into ponds. Department should focus on provision of qualified technical assistance to farmers at their door steps.”

“Effective plans should be formulated by the department to provide training to farmers which should include efficient economic role models and usage of modern techniques to trigger the aquaculture practices. The department should also consider on spot/farm workshops for dissemination of technology in addition to indoor workshops. Efficient record keeping is an important tool to identify the progress and problems in the project for further planning and development of similar projects”.

Assistant Director Fisheries Department Mushtaq Qureshi rejected the report and said, “All documents and data were provided to the DGME.” Adding, “The project is functioning without any hurdle”.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag.According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected.The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours.And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice.This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too.Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights.They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required.Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet.While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights.The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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NEW DELHI: An inter-ministerial panel on fintech has suggested legislative changes be made to enable fixed deposits (FDs) and other financial instruments to be issued in dematerialised form as it is customer-friendly and secure.The Steering Committee headed by the economic affairs secretary also suggested that the department of financial services (DFS) and Reserve Bank of India may examine the suitability of virtual banking system in the Indian context.The panel, which submitted its report to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, said dematerialisation of financial instruments is customer-friendly given the wide reach of mobile technologies and also leads to disaster resilience and speedy recovery. the report said.Necessary suitable amendments to enable dematerialisation of financial instruments such as FDs and other deposits of the Post Offices, other forms of small savings certificates issued, Gold Deposit Certificates issued under GMS, Sovereign Gold Bonds, etc.may be undertaken, it said.Pending changes in laws and regulations that may be required to enable depositories to store all financial assets, the information pertaining to the assets may be stored in repositories so that consumers can access this information through a single window, it said.With regard to virtual banking, it said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently issued guidelines for setting up virtual banks and is examining applications for virtual banking licences.The Committee recommends a thorough review of the PPI system with a view of considerably liberalising its use with adequate non-monetary limits safeguards to enable expansion of fintech, it said.It noted that there is an urgent need to reduce the costs of KYC to promote financial inclusion among the weaker sections.

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