MIRPURKHAS - Cold wave has gripped lower interior Sindh , including Mirpurkhas Division, after the first winter rain in Karachi and other parts of the province on Friday and Saturday.

The rain, which started here on Saturday morning and continued intermittently, resulted in a considerable hike in the prices of dry fruits, warm clothes and other winter food items. People enjoyed the weather. However power supply remained suspended and business activities were affected.

Showers continued intermittently in parts of Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar and Tando Allahyar, forcing people to stay indoors. As the rain started, power supply to the city and other parts of the district was suspended. Mirwah Gorchani, Digri, Jhuddo, Tando Jan Muhammad, Naokot, Kot Ghulam Muhammad, Sindhri, Shadi Palli, Phuladyyoon and Hingorno also received showers. Most shops in markets and bazaars remained closed. People faced hardships due to power suspension and used wood as fuel to cook food and keep themselves warm.

Also, gas loadshedding continued in the region as per routine. Protest demonstrations were staged against gas loadshedding in certain areas where the protesters demanding that the government end gas loadshedding without any delay and address the low gas pressure issue. Power supply to several parts of the division had not been restored by Saturday evening, when this report was filed.

Also, the prevailing cold wave and intermittent showers have caused problems for sugarcane growers who are currently in the process of harvesting and transporting their crop from their fields to sugar mills.

Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Al Abbas and Digri sugar mills are crushing cane in the district, as the season is on its peak at this time, but the rain slowed this process down. Also, now farmers are forced to pay higher wages to workers involved in sugarcane harvest due to the prevailing extreme weather.

Growers Mohammad Moosa Maher, Muhammad Ismail, Badar Alam and Aijaz Panhwar said that farm workers had refused to harvest sugarcane on previous rates due to the extreme cold weather. They said that they had already been told by sugar mills to transport their crop to the mills, but it was not possible for them to do so in the prevailing circumstances.

They lamented that due to showers mud pathways and link roads had become dangerous for transporters. Many tractor-trolleys and trucks loaded with sugarcane turned turtle due to the slippery mud paths.

They said that sugar mills should provide facilities to growers to ameliorate their problems resulting from the prevailing weather conditions and broken farm-to-market roads.