Rice is as much a part of our staple diet as wheat is. Rice is grown in Punjab as well as Sindh, but the Sindhi growers are desperate and dejected over the persistent non-availability of water in various canals. Rice is grown in different districts of upper and lower Sindh regions, particularly, in Larkana division, but unfortunately, perennial lack of water in all the canals, major reservoirs and severe shortage of water in the Indus River will make it difficult for the farmers to go for water-intensive paddy crop this time. It appears that the area under cultivation will be diminishing rapidly due to non-availability of water in the famous Rice Canal and Dadu Canal because of low level of water in the River Indus. “We are facing a very tough situation this summer regarding land where rice is planted in the rice belt in the upper Sindh region. We will be forced to reduce the planted area by half and if the farmers have no water to grow rice and other crops and vegetables then they will turn into criminals and dacoits and it is not good for the province and the country,” the warning has been made by an expert agriculturist and an eminent advocate of Supreme Court. He further warned, “we may witness a drought-like situation in certain parts of the province this summer.” It is a known fact that the tail-end canal areas of Sindh always face acute water shortage because the local feudal lords, in connivance with the corrupt irrigation officers and engineers, steal the water or take a proverbial lion’s share. It is reported that the people living in the tail-end areas have no water for drinking, both, for people and animal and they are dying of thirst. So much so, they have no water to perform burial rituals.However, the water managers and controller of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) are requested to end this water shortage as per commitment in the famous Water Accord, 1991. HASHIM ABRO, Islamabad, May 31.