MIRPURKHAS - Acute shortage of irrigation water continues to trouble farmers in tail-end areas of East Jamrao Canal, causing delay in cotton sowing.

Reports say that irrigation department officials are facing resistance from landlords in their attempt to close their direct outlet from East Jamrao Canal.

Tail-end areas, including Tando Jan Muhammad, Jhuddo, Kot Ghulam Muhammad and Mirpurkhas, have been adversely affected as most farmers there have not been able to sow their cotton crop due to the non-availability of water.

Growers in tail-end areas have been complaining of non-availability of water for the last one month because of tampered water courses and direct outlets obtained from the East Jamrao Canal by big landlords. They accuse the irrigation officials of allowing the landlords to tamper with their water courses and managing direct outlets from East Jamrao Canal after receiving heavy bribe.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, taking notice of the complaints of PPP legislators, had ordered the irrigation department officers to ensure water supply in tail-end areas after which the managing director SIDA had visited the and found 99 percent tampered direct outlets.

He asked the authorities to close over 40 such outlets with the help of excavator machines.

However, responsible landlords started resisting against the closure of their direct outlets and watercourses.

When contacted, XEN Jamrao division Naeem Memon said that water was already short by two feet in East Jamrao Canal.

“We are making efforts to manage the water supply and ensure its availability also in tail-end areas,” he said, and added that under the rotation programme, dozens of distributaries, including Sanhro, Mirpur and Bareji, were lying closed to ensure water supply in tail-end areas.