As many as 80 people on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration against officials who, they said, had failed to take notice of a 100-foot breach in the Aab-i-Hayat distributary which had left more than 1,000 acres of land inundated.
The breach had developed late on Tuesday night near Basti Akbar Ali Bhullar, resulting in flooding of nearby areas including Basti Laaran, Deewan Khoo and several areas of Wahi Hazarat village.
Sajjad Akbar Bhullar, a resident of the village, said that as soon as the breach was discovered, people informed the Irrigation Department XEN and other officials about it. He said no one came to inspect the breach for five hours and the breach kept getting wider. He said crops over 1,000 acres was destroyed as water flooded the area and mud houses collapsed.
Later, Chief Engineer Malik Khursheed Zaman visited with MPA Chaudhry Ejaz Shafi and reviewed the damage. Zaman said the breach had developed due to excess water in the canal.
However, MPA Ejaz Shafi said it was caused by water theft. He said flow of water in the canal was 200 cusec more than required. He said the excess water had caused the breach. He held the Irrigation Department responsible for the breach.
Another 50-foot breach developed near Chak 30BC and caused hundreds of acres to be inundated.
Farmers, Muhammad Ameen and Khadim Hussain, whose lands were affected, said they had complained to the Irrigation Department several times but no one had taken notice of it.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.