Caretaker CM orders registration of FIR against water theft

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KARACHI: Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister (CM) Fazul-ur-Rehman has directed the province’s Irrigation Department to take strict action against water theft by registering a first information report (FIR) so that water can be provided to the tail-enders.

He took this decision on Monday while presiding over a joint meeting of the agriculture and irrigation departments here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Irrigation Minister Khair Mohammad Junejo, Irrigation Minister Mushtaq Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah, Agriculture Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro and other concerned officials.

The chief minister said that the water position in the River Indus has improved to some extent but its benefits have not trickled down to small growers, particularly the tail-enders. “This is an issue of water management and distribution,” he said and added that the shortages should be shared by all growers and people living at the head of canals.

Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon said that there were reports of water theft and illegal pumping, which is why it was not reaching everyone down to the bottom. The ministers of both departments also expressed the same opinion as expressed by the chief secretary.

Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah said that the water position which was at 35,000 cusecs last week has gone up to 41457 cusecs on Sunday and is improving day by day.

Giving a brief on water withdrawal, he said that Desert Pat Feeder withdraws 4842 cusecs, Ghotki Feeder 4608, North Western Canal 2040, Rice Canal 1500, Dadu Canal 1900, Nara Canal 8850, Khairpur Feeder East 1240, Rohri Canal 8850, Khairpur Feeder West 1060, Kalri Baghar 2450, Akram Wah 640, Pinyari 1370, and New Fulelli 2125 cusecs respectively.

The chief minister directed the irrigation secretary to start registering FIRs against water thieves, besides directing the police department to support and cooperate in stopping water theft by registering cases.