Growers hold Mithi-Mirpurkhas march for water

Published June 2, 2021
GROWERS hold a demonstration in Kaloi town of Tharparkar district before starting their march.—Dawn
GROWERS hold a demonstration in Kaloi town of Tharparkar district before starting their march.—Dawn

MIRPURKHAS: Several hundred growers of Rann Shakh took out a protest rally on Tuesday from Kaloi to Naokot town in protest against acute shortage of irrigation water in their water channel.

The protesters marched through main roads while raising slogans against officers and officials concerned.

Despite sweltering heat, they arrived at Naokot town where they blocked the main Naokot-Mithi road, suspending vehicular traffic for two hours. They also burnt tyres while raising slogans against the irrigation department officers.

Talking to reporters, the protesters said that they were being targeted deliberately for being the farmers of the tail-end areas of Rann Shakh where scarcity of water persisted, even for drinking.

They alleged that big landlords having political approach forced the irrigation officers to allow them to tamper with the watercourse. Without water, their cultivated cotton and other crops would be devastated, they added.

They claimed that the gauge of Rann Shakh had been reduced, as a result water level had gone down and was not reaching their fields for three weeks.

They said that they had invested millions of rupees in the cultivation of Kharif crops and they would face great loss if their crops were destroyed due to lack of water.

They demanded the higher authorities take immediate notice of the issue, provide justice to them by supplying their share of water without delay.

Naokot police later assured them of supplying water to their areas after which they dispersed and the traffic was restored after two hours.

MIITHI: Farmers of Rann Minor, the only water channel of Tharparkar district, staged a demonstration at 22 Mile near Kaloi town after marching from different areas of the desert district against the unavailability of irrigation water for the past many years.

In the lead of Arbab Anwar, Arbab Inayatullah, Mohammad Usman Halo and Babu Loond, the protesting farmers and residents while talking to local reporters deplored that on one hand the desert region was facing the worst drought conditions while on the other the only water channel had not been provided with its due share of water for the past many years.

They alleged that it was the criminal act of the irrigation officials to deprive them of water even for drinking in the vast area.

Officials were diverting the flows of water of their share to the lands of the influential figures of other districts, they added.

They threatened to widen the scope of their protest if the only irrigation minor of Tharparkar district was not provided with due share of water. They said the channel was meant to irrigate a vast area and provide potable water to thousands of people, but the officials had been doing a grave injustice by not releasing water in the irrigation outlet.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021

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