To do away with the years-long issue of water scarcity in Thatta, work on the cement concrete lining of the Udero Lal channel, which had been impeded in the wake of protests by growers and members of the local chapter of a nationalist party, resumed on an urgent basis on Thursday.
The officials of the irrigation department told local reporters that the initiative had been taken to ward off the protracted issue of water scarcity in district Thatta that had halted the economic growth of the district.
Briefing about the whole scheme, executive engineer of the irrigation department, Rahim Qureshi, said that National Engineering Services Pakistan served as a consultant for the channel lining project under which the branch was being cemented from RD-118 to RD-201 to enhance its water carrying capacity from 1200 cusecs to 1500 cusecs and help rid water scarcity in the district’s coastline where the population had been facing water crisis for over two decades.
Talking about the technical aspects of the scheme, he said that it was designed in a way to facilitate the tail-end growers who had been deprived of their legitimate right to water for a long time. “Amid a drastic shortage of water across the province, Sukkur Barrage was getting 22,000 cusecs water followed by Kotri Barrage that was only receiving 5000 cusecs, that was beyond the need of both barrages,” he revealed, adding that the dearth of water was to persist in the coming days as well.
On the other hand, PPP MPA Haji Ali Hassan Zardari has termed this scheme a milestone for reviving the environmental features of the district along with agricultural uplift. This project aimed at improving the quality of life of fishermen’s communities and coastal populations. He said that the scheme would put Thatta back on the track to progress and prosperity.
The cemented lining of the branch has brought joy to the desperate faces of growers of the Thatta district who have been bearing huge financial losses since the degradation of the Indus delta. Hameed Pahnwer, a local grower, would be instrumental in resolving the issue of saline water, adding that it would also provide opportunities for livelihood to the poor population of the district.