RAHIM YAR KHAN: Farmers of Mianwali Quershian and adjoining areas have warned the government of launching a series of protests and moving the high court if the irrigation water is not released into the minor canals of the Sadiq Branch Canal until April 15.

Kissan Ittehad members, including Jalil Bandesha, Muhammad Din Ganga, Allah Nawaz Manik, Jam Fazal Ahmed Ganga and Nazir Ahmed, toldDawn that continuous closure of non-perennial canals was affecting the farmers of Mianwali Quershian, Blockiwali, Chak Abbas, Chowk Sureli and the neighboring areas where the farmers were forced to run their tube wells throughout the year to irrigate their crops.

They claimed that they, along with other farmers, had filed an application to the Rahim Yar Khan Senior engineer irrigation and deputy commissioner to complete the desilting, repair and construction works on non-perennial canals during the period of closure but in vain.

They said they were witnessing for the last many years that the irrigation department and contractors concerned would start work on canals reluctantly and the water was discharged after the closure for a long time.

Through this practice, the contractor and irrigation department get involved in corruption and farmers bear economic losses due to unavailability of the irrigation water through these canals in the name of construction work, they said.

The farmers said digging work had started and material was unloaded for construction of a bridge on the Head Thall Ganga Mianwali Quershian on Sadiq Branch canal. They said the irrigation water season would start from April 15 and it would continue till September 2020.

They said due to construction of the bridge right before the water releasing season, the farmers of Fateh Minor, Kudan Minor, Mehran Minor, Chak Abbas Upper and Lower minor canals, would be deprived of irrigation water.

They demanded that the bridge on the Sadiq Branch canal should be constructed after making substitute arrangements and water should be released into the minor canals so that the farmers could irrigate their cotton and sugarcane crops and mango orchards.

When contacted, RYK EXEN irrigation Yasir Munir told this correspondent that according to his knowledge both irrigation and highway departments were not constructing any bridge on the Sadiq Branch canal; however, he said he would look into the matter.

RYK Deputy Commissioner Khuram Shehzad did not reply to the call and text messages.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

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