DERA GHAZI KHAN

The court has ordered the Punjab secretary irrigation to launch a probe into the alleged embezzlement of huge funds provided by the Punjab government for the construction of protective embankment due to absence of which about 3,000 residents and 10,000 cattle in Mouza Bait Malana were affected by flood.

“Chief Engineer Irrigation Department DG Khan behavior speaks contumacy who did not file his report to complaint despite several notices and repeated telephonic calls to him, Reports submitted by XEN and SDO Irrigation are evasive and meant to conceal the things,” Punjab Ombudsman Javed Mahmood remarked in the decision he made in the complaint of Dur Muhammad, resident of DG Khan City.

As per the copy of the decision of Punjab Ombudsman, Dur Muhammad, a resident of DG Khan City and landlord of Mouza Bait Malana in the precincts of Police Station Derhama of DG Khan, had submitted a complaint against Irrigation Department in the office of Regional Director of Punjab Ombudsman DG Khan.

The complainant had alleged in his application that flood of Indus River had ravaged Mouza Bait Malana area in 2010 and so many habitats and arable lands were badly affected by the flood. He along with others had made applications to Irrigation concerned authorities for the construction of a protection dyke so that the land and villages may be protected from the onslaught of flood. The government of Punjab had released Rs1.5 million in 2008 for a survey and drawing of maps and had sanctioned Rs700-800 million to Irrigation Department for the construction of a super bund on River Indus while Rs160 million was released immediately out of the sanctioned funds.

The complainant had blamed that said amount had been misappropriated by the irrigation officials, so it was requested that Punjab Ombudsman office should order the launching of an inquiry respecting the use of sanctioned amount and taking up steps for protection of villages and the land in the area Mauza Bait Malana. On this complaint, the court heard the complainant while the officials of Irrigation Department and River Diversion Division Muzaffargarh presented reports mentioning therein that the complainant had not furnished proof about release of Rs1.5 million.

However, due to non submission of report by Chief Engineer Irrigation Department Dera Ghazi Khan despite he was given seven opportunities, the court gave judgment, saying, “The record of sanction of amount or its release, etc, if any, must be lying in the office of Chief Engineer who could be the suitable Authority to explain the matter in its true perspective, but unfortunately, he kept himself away from the case and failed to file report on the issue in the complaint. In the given circumstances, no way is left for this office, but to ask the Secretary Irrigation Department Government of Punjab to have a probe into the matter regarding sanctioning of amount for construction of protection Bund in Mouza Bait Malana or release of amounts.” Livestock Department DG Khan officer at Ghazi Ghat flood area Dr Javid Iqbal said that more than 3,000 residents of 100 families and 10,000 cattle of only Mouza Bait Malana have once again badly been affected and devastated by Indus River due to non construction of protection dyke in the area.

The flood affectees are continuously protesting against the corrupt mafia of Irrigation Department DG Khan. Sardar Ahmed Ali Dreshak, a PTI lawmaker, has already alleged that the breach in the protection embankment at Basti Rindan was not developed due to floodwater rather by the Irrigation Department officials who conniving with the district administration shifted the stones from it to a nearby spur for the purpose of corruption.

In Union Council Raman, scores of people have protested against the Executive Engineer Irrigation DG Khan for the big breach in the protection embankment Gujani at Mouza Bait Alam. They have raised voice against negligence and corruption, same as, residents of Basti Wadore have blamed that Irrigation Department is responsible for their devastation because despite various complaints lodged against encroachment on Nullah Sehani and Nullah Gugwa, the main waterway of flash flood, the corrupt mafia did not take any action against the encroachers.