HYDERABAD: Haleem Adil Sheikh, the Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly has said that there was only the irrigation water shortage in the minor and waterway of tail-end areas while the water of their share was being stolen by the influential landlords in connivance with the irrigation officials.
Mr Sheikh speaking during the Water Conference organized by Sindh Agriculture Research Council in Hyderabad Press Club on Friday outright rejected the claims of the high-ups of Sindh government and PPP rulers that water of Sindh’s share was being stolen by Punjab in connivance with Irsa officials. Mr Sheikh said that due to vagaries of the climate change and insufficient pre-monsoon rainfall the catchment areas of the rivers and delayed in glacier melting Punjab was facing 21 water shortage while Sindh was facing 20 per cent water shortage adding he said that despite that things could easily be managed and all the farmers could be provided with water if there was strong will and writ of the government to do something for those, who were being deprived of their due share of water.
Mr Adil said that there was enough water at all three barrages of the province adding he lamented the fact that irrigation officials instead of ensuring the just and judicious water distribution among the landowners in every district, were only concerned to irrigate the lands of those, who had the backing of the ruling party in Sindh. ” The things in the whole Sindh province are badly mismanaged and roughed up and nobody is taking the responsibility to stem the rot” he added and noted with concern that farmers in July were on the roads demanding water for the rice cultivation.
Mr Sheikh said that it was a matter of shame that poor farmers were not getting water to cultivate the rice, the chief crop of the season in the number of the districts, while water flows were being diverted towards the orchards and farmers of the influential sitting Sindh government.
The PTI leader claimed PPP rulers, despite getting enough funds from the federal government, were not willing to overhaul and restructure the irrigation and drainage systems across the province. “If the system is in place we can properly handle situations and provide water to every farmer and grower” he added and held the corrupt PPP rulers responsible for doing the dirty politics on the water shortage. The PTI leader said that it was a wrong notion that the federal government was planning to construct the power plant at Taunsa Pannad Canal adding he said that all the provinces were getting equal water allocations on the strict directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Mr Sheikh said that Prime Minister Imran Khan long ago wanted to formulate a policy by posting the neutral inspectors to check the water flows but PPP leadership and the high-ups had shown no interest in that serious matter instead starting the dirty politics and staged the demonstrations in different owns to dupe the people of Sindh and conceal their incompetence and corruption.
Mr Sheikh said that he himself witnessed a number of the canals drying up while those irrigating the lands of the PPP leaders were getting enough water even in June. He alleged that on one hand the corruption of irrigation and Sida officials were selling the water while on the other hand, the PPP leaders were stealing water from hundreds of the illegal direct outlets, pipes and waterways. The PTI leader requested the participants of the water conference to raise their voices and expose those who were depriving them of their due share of water under lame excuses and pretexts.
“It is the need of the hour to raise the collective voice against the core issues of the province so that corrupt rulers can be brought under pressure to mend their ways” he added and offered his full support to the leaders of the various farmer’s associations, who attended the conference. Advocate Ali Palh, the chief of the council said that this a small step towards achieving the big goal and to expose those, who were actually stealing water and pushing the farmers towards hunger and starvation. He said that when he had raised voice over the banditry of water by PPP leader Ms Faryal Talpur, he was implicated in the false and fabricated case.
Mr Palh said that now everybody knew who had actually created the mess and stopped the flow of water in various parts of the province.
Pir Fayyaz Hussain shah Radsgi from the tail end areas of Badin speaking on the occasion lamented that almost all the water channels of their irrigation-sub-division had been without water for past many years. He said that the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan after the historic struggle had taken notice wayback in 2013 and ordered the provision of uninterrupted water supply but the officials had never bothered to abide by the orders. Mr Rashidi lamented that the situation in the vast area was getting from bad to worse due to the callous and criminal attitude of irrigation officials of Sukkur barrage.
The farmers and growers leaders and representatives of various organizations attended the conference and thanked the organizers for giving them the opportunity to share their grievances with regard to unfair water distribution in the different parts of the province.