Canal water issue turns worse from bad
SADIQABAD – The issue of canal water blockage in Sadiqabad has turned worse from bad as local canals have dried owing to water shortage, leaving hundreds of farmers unemployed.
Farmers of the area are critical of the situation and blame the Irrigation Department for it. Growers, belonging to different villages and chaks, told The Nation that officials of the Irrigation Department were responsible for unjust canal water distribution which, they maintained, had caused water shortage in the area. They added that the officials concerned had diverted canal water of their share to other areas which had dried their canals. They regretted that agriculture lands of Sadiqabad had turned into dried and barren lands due to anti-farmer policies of the past governments. “It has not only endangered farmers’ livelihood but also threatened collapse of the local agriculture-based economy,” they expressed their concerns. They regretted that canal water shortage had damaged the standing crops, adding that the former fertile lands had become unsuitable for cultivation. “Had the government built dams, farmers would not have faced shortage of water,” the farmers maintained, adding that effective water policy would not have forced the Irrigation Department officials to give canal water of their share to other areas. They demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar should take notice of the situation and save the farmers from complete collapse.
On the other hand, Ajnuman-e-Tajran president Khalid Saleem Ch said that acute shortage of water in local canals would definitely affect the produce of cotton this year. “The construction of dams is need of the hour,” he said, urging the authorities concerned to consider the issue seriously. He also demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar to look into matter and order the officials concerned to ensure an effective solution to the problem. “Agriculture is backbone of the country. Our enemy is constructing dams on the waters of Pakistani share. She is involved in hydro-terrorism against Pakistan. Water level in Pakistani rivers has decreased to an alarming level,” he said. He added that decrease in water level in rivers had caused shortage of water in canals, and adding that only the dams would be able to avoid water shortage in the country. He said that Chief Justice Saqib Nisar should himself take notice of the situation and order the authorities for the construction of dams.
FIVE-MONTHLONGCANAL WATER CLOSURE
A businessman and member of Rahim Yar Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RYKCCI) said that local agriculture-based economy was on the edge of collapse owing to five-month long canal water blockage by the Irrigation Department. During a media talk, Qamar Sultan Zia said that families of local farmers had been starving as the blockage of canal water had destroyed standing crops. He added that people had already been suffering from worst economic circumstances and now the five-month long canal water blockage added to their problems. “They don’t find water to drink. Their cultivated lands have been damaged and turned into barren lands,” he maintained. “They do not have enough water to drink their cattle,” he added. He demanded that the authorities should look into the matter and release water in local canals. He urged them not to test patience of poor people in the holy month of Ramazan.
On the other hand, residents of Chak 169/P staged a protest demonstration against lack of water supply and five-month blockage of canal water in the area. They gathered outside Sadiqabad Press Club and the office of Municipal Committee. Talking to media, they said that they had been lacking canal water for the last five months. “There is also inadequate water supply at our homes,” they added. “Despite installation of a new water supply line, water supply to residential areas is interrupted,” they flayed, adding that people were forced to buy water for drinking at exorbitant prices. They demanded the administration ensure a solution to water issue.