TANDO MOHAMMAD KHAN                -            Despite the ban imposed by the Sindh Irrigation department, the growers living alongside the Akram Wah, Pinyari and Fuleli canals have installed more than 500 lift pumps in connivance with the irrigation authorities.

Kotri barrage has four canals, two perennials (water 12 months) and two non-perennials (water six months). The KB feeder, one of the perennial canals, provides water to Karachi and the other to Akram Wah, also called Lined Channel.

It provides water to its four sub-divisions up to Badin for agricultural purposes where the main crops are sugarcane, wheat and rice.

The two non-perennial canals, old and new Fuleli, should get water from June 1 to November 30 for its main crops rice and fodder, etc.

However, these canals get water all year round in connivance with the irrigation staff at the cost of the perennial canals.

Lift-pumps deprive the farmers of Tando Mohammad Khan, Matli, Tando Bago, Tando Ghulam Ali, Talhar and Badin, who are living at the tail-end of the canal, of water.

But still, the pumps could be seen functioning from Kotri Barrage to Tando Muhammad Khan district in violation of the ban. Owners of these pumps are reportedly selling water to the fellow farmers.

There is an arid zone to the south of these canals. With the start of rainy season, the irrigation department starts repairing the dykes constructed on both sides of the River Indus. But it has come to light that the irrigation department officials only mint money since repair of these dykes is merely cosmetic.

According to local growers and farmers, the irrigation department officials award contracts for the repair of dykes to their relatives. They further allege that the work is so substandard that it is feared that the dykes may be washed away by the river water. Similar is the case with other dykes, they added. They also claimed that the irrigation department officials mint money in the name of lining of minor canals.

It may be mentioned here that millions of rupees have been spent on the restoration of Phuleli and Gajja Wah canals by the irrigation department. But these could not be restored yet.

When this scribe visited the sites of different canals, it emerged that contrary to the irrigation department’s claims, work on these canals was still incomplete.

The Left Bank Kotri Barrage director, primarily responsible for the water distribution, is fully aware of the situation, but has preferred to remain silent.