7th January, 2012
UMERKOT, Jan 6: A large number of people took out a procession and staged a sit-in in Hanifabad on Friday in protest against the administration’s failure to drain out water from Satriyoon and Samaro Road union councils and accused government officials of misappropriating funds released for excavation of drains.
They said that even after four months to devastating heavy rains which washed away houses, livestock and crops, 150 villages of the two UCs were still under four to five feet rainwater.
They said the draining out process got slowed down because the adminis-tration failed to remove hindrances in drains.
Raheel Qaimkhani, Rano Thakur and other protesters said that Rs60 million had been released for excavation of Hiral drain and removing hindrances and about 11 excavators had been brought to do the job but only two were seen working.
They said the officials were supposed to dig the drain’s bed but they only slashed its sides and placed the dug out mud on the banks. They did not touch three watercourses that cut through the drain’s bed and slowed down draining process because
they were owned by influential landlords, they said.
They accused officials of misappropriating funds released for the excavation of drains. About 25,000 acres of land in the two UCs was still under water, they complained.
They complained that legislators did not help them and even officials of NGOs and media only visited the areas which were not flooded and ignored people who were marooned in water or took shelter along roads.The agricultural loans of rain-hit farmers, he said, were not written off and they were not provided free seed and fertiliser.
People of the area had no water to drink and they were besieged by saline water. Many of them were staying in cities with their relatives or in rented houses, they said.
They urged President Asif Zardari to take notice and order immediate draining out of water and a probe into embezzlement of funds.