HYDERABAD: As the theft of irrigation water by influential farmers continues, the Rangers have begun a crackdown in Bhan Saeedabad taluka of Dadu district. The Rangers sealed water supply to 50 water courses which were broken to steal the water.
The law enforcement agency (LEA) also confiscated the pumps which were used to illegally draw water from the waterway. A police official, who requested anonymity, said the Rangers have also prepared a list of the influential landlords who have been involved in the theft. The LEA has also recommended registration of FIRs against the thieves.
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The Bhan police station, meanwhile, have registered FIRs against 15 farmers and landlords on complaint of Irrigation Department’s Sub Engineer, Farooq Kalhoro.
The water theft by the farmers with agricultural lands near the head regulator of a waterway creates acute shortage for the tail end farmers. Following the Rangers action, the water reportedly reached up to 72 RD [reduced distance] out of 80 RD, which is the last RD, in Daim and Dal distributaries of Dadu canal.
Manzoor Mengal, a local farmer, told the local media that though the water has started to reach in some parts of the tail end areas, the design faults in the waterways is still preventing the tail end areas from completely availing irrigation water.
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Taufeeq Peerzado and Liaquat Arain, who led the farmers’ protest in Dadu district on Friday, said thousands of acres of cultivable land has turned barren due to persistent shortage of water in the tail end areas of Daim and Dal distributaries. “The influential landlords are stealing water through lift machines with impunity,” said Peerzado.
They claimed that the provincial government’s action against the theft in the past had only targeted the political opponents of the ruling party.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2018.
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