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‘Water in all canals to be released from 25th, ban on paddy cultivation to continue’

‘Water in all canals to be released from 25th, ban on paddy cultivation to continue’

SUKKUR: Several major decisions pertaining to agriculture sector were taken at a meeting presided over by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah at the Sukkur deputy commissioner’s office on Saturday.

Sukkur Commissioner Mohammed Abbas Baoch, deputy commissioners and SSPs of Sukkur, Ghotki and Khairpur and senior officials of the irrigation, Salinity Control and Reclamation Programme (Scarp), Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (Sida), and agriculture and revenue departments, as well as representatives of small growers attended the meeting.

Mr Shah noted that there had been an increase of 20 to 22 per cent in cotton production and 30 to 35 per cent in wheat production this year in the province because of a ban on paddy cultivation on the left bank of Sukkur barrage.

The meeting decided to continue the ban and throughout Sukkur division and make all Scarp tube-wells functional. It also decided to release water in all canals in Sindh from April 25.

Mr Shah warned that stern action would be taken against any grower found violating the ban on paddy cultivation in the division.

Commissioner Baloch told the meeting that the ban had been appreciated at national and international levels. Around 60 per cent of growers in the division had not only welcomed the ban but also opted for not cultivating paddy, it was observed at the meeting.

Mr Shah issued directives to Sida for evolving a scheme for the laying of a Scarp drain from Baiji up to Shank Bund.

The Sida director informed the meeting that that 822 tube-wells out of a total of 1,092 were functional in the division.

Mr Shah asked him to employ local people for watch and ward, operation and other functions relating to the tube-wells so as to ensure resolution of 95 per cents problems relating to cultivation.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2016

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