HYDERABAD, June 1: The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture has urged the Sindh government to announce in this year’s budget some relief measures for farmers who are incurring colossal losses because of 58 per cent shortage of water in the system.
The meeting presided over by the chamber’s senior vice-president Mir Murad Ali Khan Talpur on Friday, expressed concern over prolonged water shortage at Kotri downstream which had dealt a severe blow to Kharif crops.
The growers whose land fell in the command area of Rohri Canal had invested heavily in the cultivation of Kharif crops but now they were incurring huge losses because of water shortage.
The meeting complained that water was not being released downstream Kotri barrage to the detriment of Indus delta and entire downstream population.
The Sindh government should take measures to end water shortage and announce relief in this year’s budget for farmers to strengthen agrarian economy, said the meeting.
The meeting was informed that quantum of water at Guddu barrage upstream was 54,142 cusecs and 46,722 downstream and discharge of water at Sukkur barrage upstream was 41,410 and 11,150 cusecs downstream.
At Kotri barrage, the upstream discharge was just 6,365 cusecs and zero discharge to downstream. All four off-taking canals of Kotri barrage needed 27,000 cusecs but they were receiving only 6,000 cusecs.
Likewise, Rohri canal had a discharge of 11,410 cusecs, Nara canal 10,100 cusecs, Dadu canal 14,090 and Ghotki Feeder canal 14,055 cusecs. There was no water in Rice canal in upper Sindh and Naseer canal in lower Sindh.
The meeting said that farmers had spent huge amount on cultivation of rice but its seedlings were destroyed because of shortage of water, inflicting on them immense losses. Farmers who had land on the right and left banks of the Indus were badly affected.
Farmers, it said, right from Kashmore to Tharparkar districts were facing economic crisis.
The meeting that non-release of water to Kotri downstream was destroying the Indus delta.
The meeting urged the government to insure crops in the forthcoming budget and provide relief to farmers. Maximum subsidy should be announced for diesel, which was an important farm input, said the meeting.