Cause for concern: Eroding embankments at the rice canal regulator pose serious threats

Regulator was constructed in 1945 and has worked very smoothly until recently.

Ppi July 20, 2014

NAUDERO: Five out of 19 gates of the Rice Canal regulator have been washed away by the rapid flow of irrigation water due to which water has started eroding the embankments of the canal on either side - which are already very weak - making it a real possibility that they may break.

Garhi Khuda Bux is located on the right side of the canal and Naudero on the left side and both these areas are under serious threat of flooding due to the pressure on the canal embankments.

The regulator was constructed in 1945 during the British era and has worked very smoothly since then but last year, one of its gates fell down as it had completely aged and four more gates were washed away after an increase in irrigation water on the demand of the growers.

The water level limit in the Rice Canal should be 14 feet during Abkalani season but a visit to the regulator on Saturday showed that it was flowing at 13.3 feet - nine inches below level due to the precarious condition of all the remaining gates and the eroding banks.

The canal was dug up to facilitate the growers in the area who wanted to sow paddy for rice production and it has been greatly beneficial to the cultivators. All the old gates were repaired two years ago but it has now emerged that the repair work was not up to par.

Stone pitching work has also not been carried out here for many years and old pitching has also been removed gradually by the regular flow of water, which poses an immediate threat to both these areas along with other nearby villages and towns if emergency measures are not taken right away.

The condition of the Dadu canal regulator and its bridge has also grown worse over the years. It has also not been repaired by the irrigation department engineers but poor quality stone pitching work was carried out which may also be washed away during the current monsoon season or the next, said the nearby villagers.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2014.

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