Breaches in embankments leave villages submerged

Villagers say that the irrigation officials did nothing despite being informed.


Our Correspondent July 24, 2012

SUKKUR:


About two villages, four fish farms and many acres of agricultural land were inundated when breaches developed on Tuesday morning in the embankments of Abdul Wah, Khairpur and Mirpur Minor, Mirpur Mathelo.


When a ten-foot wide breach occurred in Abdul Wah, near RD-55, the villagers informed irrigation officials, who reportedly ignored them. As a result, the breach widened to around 50 feet. Over a hundred acres of land, which had sugarcane as well as cotton crops, and two nearby villages, Ramzan Ali and Mohammad Pehalwan, were inundated. Besides this, four fish farms were also devastated by the strong currents.

Din Mohammad, Hajan and Allah Dino, three residents of a nearby village, told journalists that more embankments are susceptible to breaches and despite knowing this, irrigation officials are not fortifying them. “The breach in Abdul Wah developed in the early hours of Tuesday morning and if irrigation officials had acted on time, our losses could have been minimised,” the villagers claimed. “Because of the criminal negligence of the irrigation officials, poor farmers have to sustain losses worth lakhs of rupees as sugarcane and cotton crops have become inundated.” They demanded the government to take action against the irrigation officials and provide compensation.

There were reports that the residents of nearby villages plugged the breach on their own.

Another breach occurred in Mirpur Minor, near Mirpur Mathelo bypass. The breach was reportedly fifteen feet wide and paddy fields became submerged under water. According to the residents of the area, there was not much water in Mirpur Minor and they were able to take control of the situation immediately. No irrigation officials were in the area to help efforts to plug the breach.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2012.

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