KARACHI - The canal system, considered to be the best irrigation way in the world, established in the British era in Sindh, is now on the verge of collapse due to powerful feudal lords interventions. And if corrective measures were not taken immediately the province would be deprived of the system, the Public Accounts Committee of Sindh Assembly observed while reviewing the audit report of the Irrigation Department here on Wednesday. The Committee noted the influential landlords were denying legitimate share of water to the tail enders by stealing water as government functionary watch helplessly to take action against the powerful feudal despite the fact that FIRs have been registered against them. The body expressed grave concern over the rot in the management of irrigation system and observed that if merit was not restored in the department the consequences would be disastrous. The PAC which met with Sardar Jam Tamachi Unner in the chair discussed and reviewed the deferred audit paras of audit report for the year 2004-05, of Sindh Irrigation and Power at the Committee Room of Sindh assembly Building. Secretary Irrigation Shuja Junejo said that Irrigation system of Sindh was a success story during British era. There was no theft of water from watercourse because there was fear amongst the populace of rulers and punishment for stealing water. No one dared to steal water or made cut in any water course at that time but now the situation has drastically changed and the powerful land owners were stealing water with complete impunity. The irrigation department has lodged hundreds of FIRs against water thieves but not a single person was arrested so far, Secretary Irrigation lamented. He said that 360 FIRs have been registered only in Thatta and Sujawal alone and when he met the DPO and DCOs in this regard but all in vain and the case gone unattended and unheard. Shuja Junejo informed the PAC that about two years back at a highest level briefing which was also attended by mighty land owners, he told the meeting that how could the situation be improved when the officials of irrigation were transferred on the whims and wishes of influential people in no time. The PAC took up nine deferred paras, of whom five were settled and four were again deferred till next meeting. The second time deferred item was para 9.6, pertaining to non-recovery of electricity charges and house rent amounting to Rs46.308 million paid to HESCO on account of electricity charges of the residential colonies for the year 2003-04 but the same was not recovered from the allotees residing in government accommodation. Moreover, 5 percent mandatory deduction on account of house rent was also not being made. Chairman PAC Sardar Jam Tamachi directed the secretary to write a letter to the Chief Ministers Inspection Team to hold thorough inquire into the matter. The committee took notice of non production of record of Rs38.442 million. DG Audit Sindh Nazeer Seehar pointed out that at the time of audit the department has failed to produce record of Rs38.449 million incurred during the year 2004-05. Due to non production of auditable record by the department, the correctness and authenticity of the expenditure could not be ascertained. The DG Audit observed that the record either go missing or some times burnt in accidental fire. Jam Tamachi said that political interference and bureaucratic mismanagement had destroyed the irrigation system in Sindh which has been known as the best in the world.