Artificial water in Badin giving birth to Thar-like situation

KARACHI: The growers of the tail-end area of district Badin, fed by various branches of Akram Canal, have expressed deep concern over non-provision of water to their landlords and alleged that a nexus of corrupt irrigation officials and big landlords is behind the continuous shortage of water in the tail-end area.

Speaking to journalists at Karachi Press Club here on Tuesday, the president of Badin alliance of tail-end farmers, Siddique Panhwar demanded to Chief Minister Sindh and officials of irrigation department to immediately intervene and ensure supply of water to tail-end farmers of the province. He also warned the authority that further negligence could create a Thar-like human tragedy in different parts of the province.

The alliance leaders alleged that thousands of acres of land had been rendered barren in the area due to water scarcity. They demanded that irrigation secretary and SIDA chairman should take notice of matter and ensure supply of water in all distributaries of Akram Canal. They alleged that irrigation officials were responsible for this artificial water shortage.

Haji Abuzar said that it had been long time since any de-silting was carried out on Ali Wah distributory of Akram Canal. He said influential landlords in connivance with irrigation officials had installed pipes and suction machines to steal their water.

Mohammad Bachal said it had been many months that small farmers of union councils had seen water in their watercourses. He accused the officials of selling their share of water to landlords and depriving tail-end growers of their due share.

Mai Bhagee, woman representatives of the alliance, regretted that even drinking water was not available in different villages of the area, causing unimaginable problems for women and children in particular.

The alliance appealed to provincial government of Sindh to ensure proper supply of water to the channels. They said tail-end growers of

Sindh and Punjab are main contributors to the national food basket and they should be saved from huge losses.

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