SCA chides irrigation officials for closure of Rohri Canal

HYDERABAD: Office bearers of the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), a farmer’s lobbying group, have held the irrigation officials responsible for the shortage of irrigation water and its adverse effects on the winter crops. In a joint statement issued on Sunday, SCA President Qabool Muhammad Khatian and General Secretary Zahid Bhurgari demanded action against officials for their alleged corruption that resulted in the water scarcity.

“The crops in the command area of the Rohri Canal have been totally destroyed by the shortage [of water]. There is no water even for drinking [for] humans and livestock,” read the statement.

Water supply to the Rohri Canal, which irrigates 2.6 million acres of land, has been stopped since the Sindh High Court (SHC) order on a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) plea. The SHC ordered the closure of the canal to allow NAB to investigate alleged corruption of the irrigation officials.

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The Sindh government has been blaming NAB for dealing a severe blow to agriculture of Sindh by closing the canal at the time of winter crops’ irrigation. Critics of the government, however, accuse the irrigation officials and government of creating a situation that prompted NAB to take such a measure.

According to the SCA office bearers, “the situation in the tail end areas of the Nara Canal is no different”.  They claimed that “a large part of 5.4 million acres of land irrigated by the two canals has been affected”.

The SCA president and general secretary also pointed out that canals flowing from the Kotri Barrage in Jamshoro were still closed for seasonal maintenance due to which crops in southern Sindh had also been affected.

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