MUZAFFARGARH: Pakistan Awami Raj party chairman MNA Jamshed Ahmad Dasti on Monday opened the sluice gate of Dinga minor at Kalu Headworks on Muzaffargarh Canal, releasing water in the channel.

According to witnesses, MNA Dasti, leading a mob went to Kalu Headworks and opened the sluice gate of Dinga minor, amid clapping by those present there, mostly farmers.

The MNA ignored the warnings of irrigation officials who told him that the water channel had been closed for several months because of a “litigation matter”.

The witnesses said when the MNA arrived at the head-works Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Farrukh Butt disappeared from the spot.

Mr Dasti said the water channel was closed without any justification, while hundreds of acres of land was in need of water.

He warned the officials against closing the water channel in future.

Justifying his action, Mr Dasti said tail-end farmers had been complaining about water shortage, while irrigation official turned a blind eye to the issue.

He said many times he asked the irrigation officials to release water in the channel but to no avail. The MNA said he was ready to face consequences of the move.

EXEN Mehr Riaz who has recently been transferred to Kot Addu from Layyah said he was looking into the matter and would submit a report to his high-ups on it.

The water channel has 800 cusec capacity and irrigates hundreds of acres of land.

Investigation SP Saifullah Khattak said he had received no complaint against Mr Dasti so far by irrigation department.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2017