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Theft unearthed: Illegal pipes deprive tail-end growers of water

Published: July 7, 2013

NAUDERO: There are over 60 illegal modules or pipes operating on Dadu Canal, pointed out Sindh irrigation secretary Babar Affendi who has asked the Sukkur Right Bank chief engineer to personally visit the area and submit a report.

Chief engineer Noor Hassan Larik visited the affected area between Larkana and Sukkur along with Tajudero SDO Zafar Abro and detected the modules illegally established by influential landlords.

Talking to the media, Abro said that he had directed the landlords and growers to seal them off immediately, failing which cases would be registered against them.

Though the chief engineer had instructed him to remove them without further delay so that tail-end users could benefit, it was not possible to do so as the rainy season has started and doing so may cause a breach. He has, therefore, asked the pipes to be closed with cement and they would be permanently removed after the monsoon season ends.

The pipes, eight to 10 inches in diametre, have water flowing in them round the clock.

The digging to install the modules has also affected the embankments as the fully settled mud was excavated and it is feared a breach may occur during peak flow.

Idrees Rajput, a former irrigation secretary, revealed that these 60 illegal modules are stealing irrigation water to the tune 2,880 cusecs every day which is a great injustice with tail-end growers.

Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had only recently directed the irrigation department officials to stop the water theft at all costs after Pakistan Peoples Party MPAs and MNAs apprised him of their concerns. Although pickets have been established along the Rice Canal and Dadu Canal to maintain 24-hour vigilance, the theft continues unabated in violation of the CM’s orders.

The growers, who have been protesting against water shortages for a long time now, have demanded that Rangers should be deployed as in other parts of the province to ensure equitable distribution of water during the current season otherwise they will lose their livelihood.

Might is right: 2,880 cusecs of water a day is being illegally drawn by the 60 modules installed by influential landlords on the Dadu Canal. PHOTO: APP

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2013.


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