The farmers whose fields are linked with Lama Dasti Canal in an area of district Rahim Yar Khan protested against “unjust and discriminatory” distribution of canal water, alleging that the Irrigation Department supplies water to influential land owners by depriving the affected farmers of their right.

The “affected” farmers have demanded that the high-ups of the department should look into the issue and provide them with relief in this regard. They also threatened to block the National Highway in the 5 kilometre area if their demand was not accepted and water not released to their side on upcoming Sunday. At Head Sanjarpur, the Ahmad Wah Canal is divided into two parts namely Lama Dasti canal and Walehar Dasti canal. Earlier, both the small canals remained functional but now-a-days, water is released for eight days in each canal on the basis of turns. The farmers of Lama Dasti areas including former nazims Shahid Iqbal, Jam Abdullah, naib nazims Jan Muhammad, Shafiq Ahmad, Hamid Raza, Shakil Ahmad, Khalil, Ghulam Murtaza, Ahmad Raza, Hasan Mustafa, Madan Khan, Ejaz Tanveer, Iqbal and Absar Ahmad said that for the upcoming week, water was supposed to be released in Lama Dasti canal.

However, the farmers added, the Irrigation staff said that the water would be released in the Walehar Dasti canal on upcoming Sunday.

The farmers termed it an “unjust” decision regarding water distribution.

The farmers mentioned discrimination had been committed by the department about water distribution against them. They explained that in the areas of Walehar Dasti canal, lands of retired officers are situated and these lands are supplied water continuously, thereby affecting the other areas including Kot Sabzal, Gotb Alu, Chaks 42, 43, 44, and 45 through discriminate distribution of canal water.

The affected farmers demanded that the high-ups of the Punjab government and Irrigation Department should ensure the distribution of canal water as per the set formula between the two areas.