The farmers and growers associated with Save Badin Action Committee on Sunday resumed their protest by taking to the streets in various towns to register their protest against the alleged reluctance of the concerned functionaries of Sindh government to overhaul the drainage system in the whole district.
The farmers and growers carrying the placards and banners inscribed with the slogans in favour of their demands gathered in Nindo Shahar, Tando Bago, and other towns of the district and demanded the high-ups of Sindh government order the officials of both irrigation and Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (Sida) to overhaul the entire system, which according to them, had collapsed due to the torrential rains last year and the subsequent massive corrupt practices in the funds released for the repair and maintenance of the drains.
Mir Noor Ahmed Talpur, Azizullah Dero, Syed Khuda Dino Shah, Khalil Ahmed Bhurgari, Abdul Ghafoor Chandio and other leaders of the Action Committee, which was formed few years back to agitate against the nagging water crises and other chronic issues facing the agriculture sector in Badin district, talking to this reporter said that hey had launched the fresh movement to divert the attention of high-ups of the Sindh government towards the breached and weak dykes of the drains including that of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD).”
The massive breaches occurred to these drains at various points had played the havoc with the human settlements and washed away standing crops on thousands of the acres of the land after the area received the torrential rains last year” they added and deplored that despite the colossal losses of their crops and displacement of thousands of the families due to the wide breaches, the authorities who were responsible to plug and then to fortify those breached and weak points did not bother to carry out proper repair work on the sites.
They said that the drains including Asia’s biggest drain, LBOD which were constructed to carry away the rain and flood waters to Arabian Sea over the years had only played havoc with people and their crops who are living in Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and the barrage areas of Tharparkar districts instead of providing any relief to millions of the people during the heavy rainfalls for past three decades.”
We have been registering the peaceful protests both on the roads and during the meetings with officials of these both departments and lawmakers from the region but no corrective measures have so far been taken to stem to the rot” added Mir Noor Ahmed Talpur, the chief of the committee while talking to this correspondent. He alleged that funds released for the repair and maintenance of the drains were grossly misappropriated by the officials in connivance with the influential political figures and no required repair work had been carried out despite the fact that those monsters caused the massive destruction in the districts especially in Badin.
Mr Talpur alleged that due to the callous and indifferent attitude of those officials they were left with no other option but to resume their peaceful agitation on the roads to exert the pressure on the high-ups of Sindh government to order the reconstruction of the drains and to forty the weak and breached points of the drains and some irrigation canals ahead of the monsoon season this year. Mr Talpur asked the government functionaries to stop treating the farming community of Badin district as their step-children and come up with the corrective measures to save them from further destruction and devastation in case of above normal rainfalls this year. ” Enough is enough now we have decided to launch the vigorous movement to force the high-ups to bridle the officials, who were only interested in usurping the funds and were doing nothing to stem the rot and put the system back on the right track” he added.
While, the leaders of Sindh Abadgar Tanzeem, another organization of the farmers of Sukkur Barrage, including Pir Fayyaz Hussain Shah Rashdi, Malik Tariq Mehmood , Mohammad Ali Liskani and others in their press statement issued here on Sunday, announced to fully support the struggle launched by the activists of Save Badin Action Committee and maintained that if the corrective measures were not taken, the water flows in the ill-maintained drains would again cause massive destruction in Badin and other districts. They said that it was matter of the grave concern that rulers were least interested to provide any relief to the farmers adding they said that the drains which had been built to take away human, municipal and industrial waste and floodwaters to the sea had always brought about the massive devastation and forced thousands the people to move towards the safer places after their villages and other settlements were inundated by the gushing waters from the breached dykes. They lamented that hundreds of the families, which were displaced due to the wide breaches to LBOD last year, were yet to be resettled and rehabilitated in their centuries old villages.
They said that they along with the people from other segments of the society were ready to launch the decisive moment to force rulers to take concrete corrective measures to avoid such catastrophes in future. The leaders of Laar Abadgar Association Nasrullah Jarwar, Allah Bachayo Rahookro, Mohammad Amin Memon and others also announced to join the movement resumed by the farmers and growers of the district to pressure the high-ups of Sindh government to ensure the repair work on the breached dykes of the drains and canals before the onset of the monsoon season.