Dozens of farmers from Pakahal, Mansehra on Wednesday staged a protest outside the office of Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Irrigation against the shortage of irrigation water.
Farmers from Tajal, Nokot, Bherkund, Traha and Hafeez Bandi gathered outside the SDO’s office and chanted slogans against the department. They complained the shortage of water is adversely affecting seasonal crop.
The demonstrators said their lands are irrigated by Lower Siran Canal, alleging some influential farmers have been stealing the water from upstream using heavy generators and tractor engines. This, they added, resulted in scarce water for the farmers with fields downstream.
The farmers warned of further protests if the concerned irrigation department officials fail to take action against violators and restore water supply. SDO Wajid Shah assured the protesters he would ensure they receive their share of water under the irrigation laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2013.