Hundreds of farmers, growers, leaders and workers from different political parties, poets, writers and members of civil society on Tuesday took out rallies and then staged demonstrations in a number of towns in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, Larkana divisions to register their protest against the unavailability of water.
The demonstrations were reported from different towns of Badin, Dadu, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Jamshoro, Kandhkot, Jacobabad, Ghotki and other districts against the persistent water crisis in the respective canals and irrigation minors for the past many months. The leaders of the protesters talking to the media persons deplored that it was matter of grave concern that water from Sindh’s share was being stolen by the irrigation authorities in Punjab through the flood canals but Sindh’s rulers as well as Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah were keeping mum over the aggravating conditions in all districts of Sindh.
They asked Shah to clarify his stance over the alleged theft of water of Sindh’s share by speaking to the officials of IRSA. The leaders in various towns during the protest warned to besiege the offices of the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority and irrigation officials if they were not provided with water of their due shares. Mir Noor Ahmed Talpur, the chief of Save Badin Action Committee, a body which was formed to agitate against the persistent shortage of the irrigation of water in the canals of the district few years back, talking to this reporter on Tuesday alleged that high-ups of Sindh government were not sharing the correct data of the flows of the water in the system instead they were issuing ‘misleading’ statements to divert the attention of the farmers and growers from the theft of water being committed within Sindh by the influential political figures.
Talpur alleged that water from Badin’s share was being diverted towards the lands of influential landlords of Tando Allahyar district after authorities had erected the blockages in the bed of Phuleli Canal a few years with the financial assistance of the World Bank. He alleged that the high-ups of Sindh government after seeing loans from the bank instead of spending the same amount on the de-silting process of the canals and minors had erected huge blockades to divert the flows of water. He said that it was a totally imprudent decision by the authorities of Sindh government to impose the ban on the cultivation of rice crop in Badin and other coastal districts.
“We the farmers and growers of lower parts of Sindh will offer stiff resistance to such bans on the cultivation of the only chief crop of the season,” he added and asked the rulers stop issuing such irrelevant and anti-farmers notifications to ban the cultivation of the paddy crop.