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KARACHI: Sindh Agri­cul­ture Minister Ismail Rahu on Wednesday feared that reduced water supply could cause tangible reduc­tion in the forthcoming rice crop, which could affect the overall economy of the province and the country as a whole.

Presiding over a meeting attended by the elected mem­bers from Badin dis­trict and officials of the agriculture and irrigation depart­ments, Mr Rahu, accu­sing the federal govern­ment, said crops in Sindh were getting ruined because supply of water to the province was far less than its due share.

He feared lands in Hyderabad, Badin, Thatta and Mirpurkhas would go barren if Islamabad kept cutting water supplies that should flow towards Sindh.

“The prime minister just knows cricket well; he is unaware about the problems and pain being endured by the farmers of Sindh,” said Mr Rahu.

He said farmers in Lar (southern Sindh) should be supplied with water by November to help those who were engaged in wheat crops.

He said Sindh produced more rice than other provinces, which was about 2.4 million tonnes, and Larkana, Dadu and Badin districts led other districts; but the water-related issues could cause irreparable dent in the economy by reducing those crops.

He said 40 per cent of the lands in Sindh were facing drought-like situation while “Punjab is stealing Sindh’s water under the shelter of the federation.

“Sindh’s lands are being made barren under certain pre-planned conspiracies,” claimed the minister.

He said Sindh’s agricul­ture would get destroyed if Islamabad continued to ignore its responsibility to do justice with the people in the country’s southernmost province.

Senator Sikander Man­dhro, MNA Mir Ghulam Tal­pur, MPA Tanzeela Sheedi and others attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2018