Flooding caused by dyke breaches washes away villages, crops

Published July 11, 2016
VILLAGERS trying to plug a breach in the dyke of Qazi Wah (irrigation channel) near Badin city on Sunday.—Dawn
VILLAGERS trying to plug a breach in the dyke of Qazi Wah (irrigation channel) near Badin city on Sunday.—Dawn

SUKKUR/BADIN: Scores of thatched houses in seven villages and standing crops over several hundred acres were washed away when breaches in the dykes of two canals caused flooding in certain areas of Ghotki and Badin districts on Sunday.

In Ghotki district, three villages -- Jaffar Gadani, Kashmir Gadani and Haji Mashool Gadani -- were hit by strong currents following flooding caused by a 40-foot-wide breach in a dyke of the Imam Wah (irrigation channel) at RD-16 near Khanpur Mahar town. district Ghotki on Sunday.

Affected villagers and growers said that standing crops, scores of houses along with valuables, as well as stocks of grains were washed away by the flooding that also rendered them homeless. They said they had suffered a collective loss of millions of rupees.

They complained that the irrigation officials concerned did not respond when they were informed of the breach and requested to help plug it. They claimed that the RD-16 point of the dyke was weak and the officials had long been informed of it but no strengthening work was carried out. They alleged that Rs140 million had been released to carry out the dyke strengthening, lining and channel cleaning work but no works were undertaken and the funds were misappropriated.

In Badin district, a 30-foot-wide breach occurred in the dyke of Qazi Wah at RD-17 near Badin city on Sunday causing flooding in several hundred acres of farmlands.

Area people said that thatched houses in four villages — Ajjoo Arbab, Bhalay Dino, Bahoo Halepoto and Qasim Halepoto — were inundated and standing crops over hundreds of acres swept away by gushing water. They said that growers and other villagers suffered heavy losses while the villages were cut off from rest of the areas due to inundation of all link roads within the Mohammed Khan Bhurgari union council.

They complained that the Qazi subdivision of the Akram division had repeatedly been urged to strengthen the vulnerable points of the Qazi Wah dykes but they never heeded their calls.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2016

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