The Sindh irrigation officials have pinned the delay in drainage of stagnant rainwater from flood-hit areas on interference by “influential” people and long spells of load shedding.
Briefing a meeting held at the Sindh secretariat, officials said that they have been draining the flood water from the lower Sindh areas while facing challenges. But in some places, influential people, including political party members, elected representative and ministers belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and its coalition partners, were not giving permission to drain the water from areas near their land and villages.
The officials said that areas in the Badin, Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar districts were still flooded.
The irrigation minister, Jam Saifullah Dhareejo said that he had personally approached a member of the coalition government on March 17 to drain the water near Naukot and Sanghar, but was refused.
The meeting was also told that due to the prolonged load shedding occurring in irregular intervals, the pumping machines are not working.
The meeting was held to review the progress of the water improvement programme and drainage sector. It was attended by the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority officials and consultants of international firms, who have undertaken the study of remodelling the Sukkur and Guddu Barrages.
Monsoon 2012 briefing
Dhareejo said that his department would declare emergency during the monsoon and cancel leaves of its employees. He warned that the government would take strict action against those contractors who have been delaying projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.