BADIN: Hundreds of the farmers, growers, members of the civil society, and from various other walks of life gathered in Talhar town on Thursday join the marchers from Badin to show their sympathies with the protesting farmers and growers who had launched the long to stage the long march from Badin to Hyderabad on foot against the nagging water crisis in Badin district for the past many months. The shopkeepers to show their sympathies with protesting farmers observed the half-day shutdown in Tando Bago and Talhar towns and joined the protest demonstrations and March.

The march was organized by the leaders of Save Badin Action Committee from Badin town on Wednesday to launch the decisive movement against the officials of Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) and irrigation departments for their alleged criminal attitude to provide the due share of water in the irrigation canals and outlets in the district.

Mir Noor Ahmed Talpur, Azizullah Dero, Khalil Ahmed Bhurgari, Syed Khuda Dino Shah, Ameer Azad Panhwar, Mohammad Hanif Nizamani, Abdul Ghafoor Chandio and other leaders of Save Badin Action Committee speaking to the journalists deplored that the entire region was facing acute water shortage and such situations had created a mess for the farming community forcing them to come on the roads having found no relief from the officials.

They had mobilized and launched the march which would culminate before Hyderabad Press Club on June 14 to register their protest against the officials, who had deprived them of their due share of water in almost all irrigation canals, minors, and waterways for the past many months adding they said they would encamp before Hyderabad Press Club their demands were met. They held the officials of SIDA and irrigation departments responsible for the mess and asked the high-ups of the Sindh government to bridle by ensuring the just and judicious water distribution in all in the Indus River.

The leaders said that they would offer stiff resistance to any move by the Sindh government to ban rice cultivation in Badin district adding they said that persistent water shortage had already broken the back of the farmers of Badin and other districts of lower Sindh. They deplored that the high-ups of the Sindh government wanted to snatch the morsels from their mouths by banning the cultivation of the chief crop of the lower Sindh.

They lamented the fact the functionaries of both Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) and irrigation departments on one hand had failed to ensure and just and fair distribution of water in canals and minors emanating from Kotri Barrage while on the other hand, the same officials were not bothered to fortify the breached and weak dykes of drains including that of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD). “The wide breaches occurred to the dykes of drains including LBOD had wreaked havoc in various districts last year during torrential monsoon downpours were not properly plugged and looked after by the officials” they said and accused the officials of paying no attention towards their peaceful protests in favor of their demands.