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Elders demand water for agricultural lands

By Bureau report
December 04, 2018

PESHAWAR: Elders from Shahi Bala and surrounding villages have voiced concern over the alleged suspension of water supply to their fertile agricultural lands in Warsak gravity canal region.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Gul Bacha, an elder and farmer, said that water supply had been suspended for the last one year to nearly 2,000 acres cultivable lands after they refused to sell their lands for construction of a private housing scheme. Flanked by other elders, he said the landowners had regularly been paying water charges called ‘Abyana’ to the department concerned for the last several decades.

Gul Bacha alleged that a scheme had forcibly purchased their lands for development of a housing project. But, he added, around 70 landowners refused to sell their inherited lands due to which water supply was suspended to their agriculture lands. He said that the deputy commissioner, through a notification, had imposed Section-IV on their lands, which was a violation of the Supreme Court verdict. Gul Bacha asked the government to withdraw its orders immediately. Another elder, Naeem Bacha, pointed out that the Senior Member Board of Revenue and other relevant departments had banned construction of housing scheme on agriculture lands. He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan, the prime minister, chief of army staff and chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take notice of the suspension of water supply to fertile agricultural lands and save them from financial losses.