UMERKOT, Sept 6: The natural waterway of old Dhoro developed three 50-foot-wide breaches near the village of Maghan Mangrio, inundating over 100 acres of the cotton crop on Thursday.
Villagers plugged the breaches on their own while levelling allegations against the officials concerned that the amount released for the development of bunds of waterways had been embezzled.
However, rains continued in the district on a fourth consecutive day.
A grower, Sajan Mangrio, told Dawn that after recent rains, release of water from the lower Nara Canal at Farsh regulator had been stopped to Kotwah, Tharwah, Chhorwah, Soofi, Sarhari, Distry minors and Hiral Canal and other canals of Umerkot district.
He said desert lakes like Modhakar, Kelankar, Kankaoo and others had been lying dry due to non-release of rainwater. Instead of releasing water into them, the irrigation authorities had released it into old Dhoro which could not carry it. He said the waterway had no bunds and growers had encroached upon its bed. Vegetation has decreased its capacity.
He said lakes were encroached and cultivated by influential people.
Another grower, Khan Mohammad, said the last year, the old Dhoro drain had flooded cotton and chilli crops and dozens of villages including Allah Bux Maher, Rasheed Maher, Ghulam Mohammad Mangrio, Manjhi Mangrio, Daim Nohri, Soomar Halepoto and Debo.
He alleged that the officials concerned had embezzled Rs160 million released by the Sindh government for the development and de-silting of drains.
Another grower, Mohammad Hassan Mangrio, said today three breaches occurred near the village of Maghan Mangrio, flooding the villages of Rasheed Maher, Sawai Mangrio, Amanullah Dars, Ubedullah Dars, Ghulam Mohammad Mangrio, Alam Mangrio, Rinmal Mangrio and Ahmed Mangrio and crops on 100 acres.
If it was not controlled, it would spell disaster for villages, he said.
He said this time sand dunes were visible in the bed of Dhoro which was the only drain carrying water of Umerkot district to Puran drain and later to Rann of Kacchh (sea).
Ghulam Mustafa Ujjan, director of Nara Canal, said length of old Dhoro escape was 100 miles from Farsh regulator to Nohto. Its bed is 100ft to 300ft wide.
After last year rains, his department excavated it at various places. Last year this escape carried 4,000 cusecs rainwater.
He said the escapes had been established to lessen pressure over canals in emergencies.
About breaches, he said that usually people cut an escape to carry water for their land from the drain. Previously, escapes carrying water to natural lakes like Kelankar and Kankao were rehabilitated for release of rainwater in lakes.
DADU: Rains in parts of Sindh disconnected land communication of cities, towns and villages, inundated standing crops and developed breaches in waterways on Thursday.In Dadu, land communication of 70 big and small villages was disconnected as rainwater flowing in Nai Gaj Nullah flooded the link roads of Wahi Pandhi, Tando Rahim, Sawro and Chhinni union councils of Kachho in Johi. Some parts of Kotri taluka received rains with windstorm.
A resident of Chhinni town, Ghulam Ali Shahani, said Kachho was facing a shortage of drinking water and people were consuming rainwater.
Executive Engineer of southern division of the irrigation department Habibullah Kaburo said rainwater flow in Nai Gaj was normal and embankments of Nai Gaj drain and FP bund were safe.
Dadu DC Nasir Abbas Soomro road communication would be restored within 12 hours after the stoppage of rains.
He denied that villages were submerged.
In Sukkur, paddy crops on hundreds acres of and 12 villages came under water when a 40-ft breach was developed into Garhi Hassan Shakh (canal) at locality of Goth Dilawar Banglani near Thull district in Jacobabad on Wednesday night.
Reports reaching here said that as result of the breach, 12 villages and rice crop on hundreds acres came under water.