Abadgars on Saturday expressed profound concerns over failure of the Irrigation department in ensuring sufficient amount of water supply from the Indus River to thousands of acres of wheat and other seasonal crops in Larkana, Dadu, Khairpur, Kamber-Shahdadkot, Kashmore, Jacobabad and adjoining region of these districts.
Reportedly, hundreds of abadgars, mostly tail-enders, flocked to various roads in Johi town on Saturday and staged a demonstration in front of the Johi press club and Chandan Bridge, and chanted slogans against irrigation officers over their incompetency and negligence.
They informed the media that sowing of many crops was being delayed due to water scarcity, and accused officers of selling water from Dadu, Johi and Rice canals.
Meanwhile, they appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal to take notice of the alleged corruption in the Irrigation department and ensure fair supply of water to their fields.
Abadgars of Johi taluka have been striving for last two months to resolve water scarcity issue, and complained of worst crises being faced at tail-end of Johi artery which has affected sowing of the wheat crop and other seasonal vegetables.
Small Abadgars Association Chairman Ghulam Qadir Rind accused influential growers of creating hurdles for small growers and diverting water to their fields with the support of irrigation officials and politicians from the ruling party.
He revealed that 50,000 acres of land would be infertile, if water was not released immediately.
He said that many fields where water was being supplied from Pahore Minor, Patro Minor, Chhini minor, Noonari, Dara, Lakha, Meer Mohammad Bego Deero, Khan minor, Phaka Shakh, Khudabad Shakh, Piaro, Kahro arteries of Dadu canal were already dried up.
“Yet officials have not taken any action against influential landlords,” he said.
Speaking to demonstrators, Mehar Gadehi also accused irrigation officials of selling irrigation water at head of Johi branch which has caused such crises at tail-end of the branch.
Mohammad Yousif Solangi said that people of 125 villages have been facing immense difficulties due to lack of water for their cattle and buffaloes.
Another protester said that 200 watercourses and modules were found tempered at Johi branch and influential landlords have established ‘gun points’ for diverting water to their fields.
Besides, abadgars of Phaka and Khudabad waterways, originating from Dadu canal also complained about shortages of water.
The affected growers also held a demonstration at riverbeds of Khudabad and Phaka waterways.
They demanded a stern action to be taken against corrupt irrigation officials and release of water to their fields immediately.
Moreover, abadgars of KN Shah and Mehar also protested against water shortage in the Rice canal and waterways originating from the Rice canal.