PESHAWAR, June 5: The NWFP governor’s Fata secretariat will undertake a topographic survey of the Kurram river and its main tributaries for future planning in the Kurram Agency, officials said. An official at the directorate of irrigation, Fata secretariat, said that the survey was aimed at blocking soil erosion along the river bank that causes widespread damages to agriculture land every year.

He said that the project, to be started very soon, would cost Rs7 million and the money would be released from the governor special fund. He said that the government was looking for consultants to conduct the survey.

According to the proposed plan areas from Kharlachi to Chapari checkpost along the Kurram river bank and its two major tributaries — Kiraman and Khurmana —would be topographically surveyed. In the light of the survey report a detailed feasibility study including survey of the entire area, design of schemes on main perennial rivers and seasonal nullahs would be carried out.

After completion of the feasibility report, the government, with the financial assistance of foreign donors, would construct land protection walls on both sides of the rivers where necessary.

Officials said that the Kurram river and its main tributaries, originating from Koh-i-Sufaid ( white hill ) not only cause substantial damages to farm land, forests and crops, but also pose serious threat to the local population during flood season in the Kurram valley near Afghan border.

Officials in the Fata secretariat said that estimated cost of the flood protection schemes in the Kurram valley was about $100 million.

In early 1980s defunct Fata development corporation had planned to conduct preliminary survey of the area but the project was abandoned due to non-availability of funds. An official said that the defunct corporation had given up the project after the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) stopped provision of funds for development schemes in the tribal region.