SUKKUR: For a third time this month, the Mirwah Canal developed a breach, this time 100 feet wide, and two villages and hundreds of acres of land were flooded on Friday.
Earlier this month, 400 houses were damaged and villages were inundated in Khairpur and Ubauro.
Initially, there was just a 30-foot breach near the Begmaji train station in the Sukkur Barrage’s Mirwah Canal that originates from the Khairpur feeder’s east canal at RD-28. The breach widened to a 100 feet opening, flooding the Shah Baig and Daryah Khan villages.
Rice, cotton and sugarcane crops were also badly affected. The makeshift houses of nomads working on date farms were also destroyed. The nomads, who lived on the river banks, were left with nothing as their food and essentials were washed away.
The residents managed to cover part of the breach in time otherwise the water would have flooded the railway track.
The irrigation department showed up after six hours. DCO Sukkur Inamullah Dharejo, EDO Revenue Akhtar Ali Qureshi, Sukkur Barrage chief engineer Haroon Memon and Khairpur superintendent engineer of irrigation Noor Hassan Larik visited the area.
The DCO said they will assess the damage and the officers responsible for neglecting the matter earlier will be taken to task. Talking to the media, he explained that a survey of the area will be conducted and people will be given helped accordingly.
According to the residents, trees are supposed to be planted along the riverbank as they strengthen the canal’s borders and prevent breaches. However, most of the trees that were planted have either been cut down or stolen.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has asked DCO Sukkur to submit a report to him on the breach and the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2010.
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