Flood-ravaged roads, canals still not repaired
HYDERABAD: Irrigation and road networks in upper Sindh, damaged by super flood of 2010, have not been repaired and the situation is pushing the area to further economic backwardness.
This was the conclusion of a meeting of growers held in a village in the Thull area of Jacobabad district on Tuesday. The meeting was hosted by agriculturist Shafiq Ahmed Khoso and attended by Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) president Abdul Majeed Nizamani and general secretary Mehmood Nawaz Shah.
According to information provided by Mr Nizamani and Mr Shah, around 150 growers attended the meeting which lasted for several hours and evaluated the post-flood situation in upper Sindh.
The participants of the meeting raised issues like supply of adulterated pesticides and non-availability of certified seed and stressed the need for repairing infrastructure of irrigation and agriculture in these areas.
Talking to this correspondent on telephone, Mr Khoso and Mr Shah said that lack of interest by government was leading to several problems. “Can you imagine that the Thull-Shikarpur road is simply non-existent,” said Mr Shah. He said that the distance which, otherwise, is covered in 15 minutes, takes almost an hour. “I don’t know why it is taking the government too long to build the road…The area needs immediate rebuilding as situation is pushing it to further economic backwardness,” he said.
Mr Khoso said that Begari Sindh Canal and its related system, including Begari, Unnar and Saifal canals, are not repaired. “The damage includes those of regulators which need to be repaired. We have met Chief Engineer of Guddu Barrage Zaheer Shah and he told us that a PC-I is in progress”, he said.
According to Mr Shah, rehabilitation of infrastructure should be given serious attention by government, but unfortunately this had not been the case so far and growers were disturbed on this account.
He said the local growers’ complaints about rehabilitation of infrastructure fall on deaf ears. Even parliamentarians and ministers don’t pay serious attention to these issues which was evident from the fact that growers were tired of making such complaints during the last one and half year.
According to Mr Khoso, local farmers invested heavily on their land to make them even as they were rendered too uneven by floods and silts.
“We have even lost revenue demarcations of our land while revenue officials didn’t extend any assistance to find the marks.
There are different survey numbers on agricultural land and we did it on our own,” he said.
Damaged canals, Mr Khoso added, needed repair which was now being delayed inordinately and the government would have to be proactive to come to the rescue of local agriculturists.
The meeting concluded with recommendations worked out in the wake of input given by participants. The SAB would submit these recommendations to the government for consideration.