Water blockade: Irrigation dept’s neglect can turn Badin into Thar, say farmers

Published: February 18, 2015
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The representatives of the Kisaan Ittehad, Badin, urged upon the chief minister and the 'honest' officials of the irrigation department to take action against officials and influential landlords who are blocking water supply to the tail-end channels. PHOTO: INP

The representatives of the Kisaan Ittehad, Badin, urged upon the chief minister and the 'honest' officials of the irrigation department to take action against officials and influential landlords who are blocking water supply to the tail-end channels. PHOTO: INP

KARACHI: The negligence of the irrigation department can bring about a Thar-like situation in Badin, said the district’s tail-end farmers.

They were addressing the media at Karachi Press Club alongside the Indus Consortium on Tuesday. The representatives of the Kisaan Ittehad, Badin, urged upon the chief minister and the ‘honest’ officials of the irrigation department to take action against officials and influential landlords who are blocking water supply to the tail-end channels.

“Around 3,000 households are affected by this,” claimed Kisaan Ittehad, Badin, president Siddique Panhwar. Muhammad Bachal, Haji Abu Zar and others belonging to the alliance agreed that thousands of acres of land had been rendered barren in the area. They demanded that irrigation secretary and Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) chairperson take notice of the matter and ensure supply of water through all the distributaries of the Akram canal.

Representatives of the alliance alleged that irrigation officials were responsible for this artificial water shortage. On one hand, they were involved in financial malpractices in the name of development schemes while on the other they were committing economic murder of poor farmers with their reckless distribution of water.

Muhammad Siddique said that the deprivation of our water rights is systematic. “For instance, in order to stop water from reaching the tail-end, small stumbling blocks have been thrown in 15-RDs [Reduced Distance] Nindo Regulator,” he said. “Moreover, the frames have not been installed in the adjacent watercourses for gauging the volume of water.”

According to Zar, irrigation officials are hand in glove with influential landlords and have installed six illegal pipes to steal water.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2015.

 

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Woz Ahmed
    Feb 18, 2015 - 5:05AM

    I read an excellent article the other day, where US scientists tracked rains and could read moisture levels via satellite , to the extent they could forcast the floods in Pakistan upto ten days before they happened, obviously our administrators ignored them.

    This technology can help us to see soil moisture and water theft and ensure a fair deal for farmers.

    In return for this investment in farm services, maybe we can agree they will pay tax.?Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    Feb 18, 2015 - 5:49PM

    @Woz Ahmed: My dear Ahmed the tax must be levied upon land lords the marginal farmers will not be able to pay the tax because the grow crops and the prices of the commodities are not fixed by farmers taking into account their in put costs as in the case of industrialists. The Govt must come forward and bring the technology after all the Govt also pays Million to those affected by floods.Recommend

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