The Sindh government is involved in the irrigation water theft as the chief minister has given unlawful approval to build direct outlets from water canals, alleged the head of the Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) and an agriculture and irrigation expert Abdul Majeed Nizamani.
“The small and medium farmers in the Badin, Thatta, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and many other districts of south Sindh are facing water shortage due to these direct outlets.” Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, Nizamani added that at least 150 direct outlets have been approved by the provincial government.
He said that the farmers are protesting against this injustice for months in Badin, Thatta, Dadu, Umerkot and Mirpurkhas districts. The famers hold irrigation officials and influential people responsible for their miseries.
“The Sindh Irrigation Act has no provision that allows a direct outlet from a canal. The chief minister is approving them in violation of the law,” Nizamani added.
He said that majority of these outlets are connected with Nara and Rohri canals, the water theft is enough to irrigate thousands of acres as each outlet can carry one to five cusecs water, which can irrigate between 350 to 1,750 acres.
In the irrigation system, water from river is transported to canals and sub canals, which leads to a distributary and to water course which ultimately leads to the agriculture land. In the case of direct outlets, however, water is drawn directly from the canal.
The SAB growers demanded that to address the water shortage and to stop water theft there is need to cancel all direct outlets.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.