OKARA:Farmers of 19 villages of 1/L in Renala Khurd cultivating 26,000 acres have been facing canal water shortage for more than two years.

The villages at the end of the 29km long canal -- 8/1L to 16/1L and 29-30 2/L (Sarai Kalason ) -- are the worst sufferers as only six-inch deep water flow reaches there. The canal originates from the Lower Bari Doab at Khokhar Kothi. The underground water is brackish and is not fit for humans, cattle and agriculture consumption.

Farmers Rao Abdul Khaliq and Rao Abrar Ahmad with dozens of other residents briefed reporters on Friday that 20 minutes per acre canal water is allocated generally, while 14 minutes are sanctioned for the tail end villages. They said their land could cultivate wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and canola crops but the shortage of water turned their farms baron. Currently, one acre is irrigated in six hours.

Last week, dozens of farmers protested at the situation at the EXEN office in the city. They demanded the government give attention to their plight. They said they would protest at the Sahiwal PMIU office too.

They said they spent millions on the desilting of the distributory to improve the water flow but to no avail.

The water supply under the DT developed some fault two years back which remained unchecked and theunit kept on releasing 86 cucic, instead of the real supply of 105 cusic, which left a hard siltation layer in the long 1/L area canal. It caused the natural adjustment of squeezing the waterway, so it was not currently feasible to discharge the required canal water to avoid overflow.

He said the senior officials were working on the issue as a priority and soon a special drive would be launched in the upcoming scheduled desiling of the canal.

KILLED: A driver was killed and the conductor suffered severe injuries when a vehicle hit ran over them when they were replacing the truck wheel on GT Road near Akhtarabad.

Driver Mazhar and helper Zafar Iqbal, of Khushab, were hit by the trailer. Mazhar died at the scene while Zafar was shifted to the Okara DHQ south city hospital by Rescue 1122.

Police arrested driver Mukhtar.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2020

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