MIRPURKHAS - A big part of the city is set to face an acute shortage of water. Most part of the city gets water from the Siaal Colony water supply scheme and the watercourse supplying water to this scheme has been seized.

It is said that the watercourse was not approved by the irrigation department of the Jamrao Division. As a result, the authorities have failed to store the required quantity of water for supply to the city during annual closure of canals from Jan 6 to 26.

According to a survey conducted by this correspondent, the Siaal Colony water supply scheme has two water reservoirs with a storage capacity of 10 million gallons each. It has been working since 2005 to meet the requirements of the masses of the city.

However, it was revealed that its watercourse from Mirpur minor was not officially approved by the Jamrao Irrigation Division and concerned engineers and officials did not take any notice of this in the past.

This water supply scheme was situated on the tail of the Mirpur minor. On the head side, big landlords put up hurdles in the way of construction of cemented structures so that they could get irrigation water more than their share. Complaints have been made by tail-end growers to the authorities about the loss of their share of water in tail-end areas but to no avail.

A grower had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court circuit bench in Hyderabad. The court directed the authorities of the irrigation department to remove all hurdles in the way of the Mirpur minor, close all illegal modules and stop water theft with immediate effect. About 20 days ago, the order was implemented. Irrigation authorities removed all hurdles and closed the illegal watercourses, including the watercourse supplying water to Siaal Colony scheme.

It is strange that irrigation authorities and the municipal committee did not bother to get the watercourse approved in the last one decade.

Unfortunately, this action was taken at the time of annual closure of the canal. As a result, municipal authorities failed to store the required water quantity in reservoirs and ensure smooth supply of water to the city.

Water scarcity has hit dozens of areas of the city, including Pak Colony, Ghosia Colony, Nawab Colony, Rajar Colony, Bashirabad, Chutto Khaskheli village, Murtaza Town, Lalchandabad, Gharibabad, Adam Town, Jamnadas Colony, Siaal Colony, Model Colony, Vegetable Market, Mehmoodabad and Loco Shed after suspension of water supply from the Siaal Colony Scheme.

People are facing hardships without water and are compelled to get water from far flung areas and hand pumps.

When contacted, Farooque Jameel Durrani, chairman of the Mirpurkhas Municipal Committee, said it was strange that irrigation officials did not take any notice of illegality of the watercourse. He said that he was making efforts to supply water to affected areas through other water supply schemes of the city.