KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday announced some relief package for the farmers belonging to the villages of Malir and Keamari Town but he did not say any thing about one of the major demand of the farmers of Gadap and Malir about abolishing the imposition of Rs300 land tax per acre imposed by previous Sindh government led by Arbab Ghulam Raheem. He announced the lease of 64 villages of Malir and 50 villages of Keamari Town while addressing a public meeting three days ago on the occasion of death anniversary of PPP slain leader Abdullah Murad. But he did not say anything about reducing the Rs300 land tax per acre on Karachi farmers, despite this fact that it was the major demand of the farmers since the PPP-led govt came into power. It may be noted that the citys agricultural land in Gadap, Malir, Keamari and Bin Qasim Town is producing vegetables and fruits in bulk quantity for the last two years due to the hectic efforts of federal and City gov ts. But imposition of land and some other problems are hindering the cultivation process. Former Gadap Town Nazim Murtaza Baloch told The Nation on Tuesday that issue of imposing Rs300 land tax on farmers is yet to be resolved. When the town administration was existed some times back, recommendations of abolishment and reducing the heavy tax, imposed by previous Sindh govt led by Arbab Raheem, sent to Sindh govt but no action has been taken in this regard. He pointed out that the rural areas of Karachi city is already far behind from the other parts of the metropolis as only Gadap Towns village is facing multiple problems as far as civic amenities are concerned, and imposition of heavy tax on the farmers have multiplied their problems. Baloch further said that in Gadap Town at least 750 villages were deprived of gas and 350 villages are deprives of electricity, while persistent water shortage is also another headache for the residents of the Goths and villages of the town. As per details, Karachi city has 33,114-hectare agriculture land in various towns of the City. Federal government had launched National Programme of Improvement of Watercourses (NPIW) in collaboration with the CDGK to boost the cultivation in the outskirts of the City and it gained boom for the last three years and various crops of vegetables and fruits were successfully cultivated. It may be noted that till 1985, Karachis 70pc requirement of vegetables and fruits had to be fulfilled by the Karachis rural areas production of commodities. The wholesalers and shopkeepers in vegetable and fruit market at Super Highway recalled that till the mid of the 1980s, around 60 to 70 per cent demand of vegetables and fruits of the City were produced from the Karachis agricultural land mainly spreading at Malir, Gadap, Bin Qasim, and Gutter Baghicha. But this trend slowly reduced due to number of reasons and the City became dependent on vegetables and fruits markets of other parts of the country. It may be noted that due to the shortage of agriculture water and negligence of the govt functionaries, the farmers in suburban areas of Gadap and Malir Towns in the recent past compelled to convert the big part of agricultural land into residential and commercial units. Former chairman agricultural committee of CDGK Arif Bhatti said that government was committed to boost and flourish the cultivation again in the outskirts and agricultural land of the City and various incentives had been given to the local farmers through CDGK and town administrations in this regard. But as far as reducing the land tax is concerned it is the matter of Sindh government, he said. Bhatti endorsed that the Rs300 land tax must be abolished or reduced to boost the cultivation in the outskirts of the City. He further said that to overcome the water shortage, CDGK had also introduced drip irrigation watering system among the farmers. Murtaza Baloch further said that cultivation of wheat crops had been started in the Gadap Town as drip irrigation system had been introduced for the cultivation of wheat as well as other crops to fulfill the requirement of edible items of the port city. It is also mentioned that Advisor to CM Sindh Sharmila had paid a visit to Gadap Town last year and made promise to the farmers that she would recommend to CM to abolish the Rs300 land tax per acre on the farmers. They vowed that if Sindh govt provide full assistance and cooperation to the farmers of the rural areas of the City, they could cultivate massive crops to fulfill the demand of the City population. It may be noted that only the Gadap Towns land is the largest town among 17 other towns of the City.