Governor worries about water shortage

LAHORE: A severe water shortage in the canals has posed a threat to standing crops in the province, prompting Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema to sound the alarm over a possible catastrophic impact on the agricultural sector.

Cotton farmers in southern Punjab are facing difficulties due to unprecedented water scarcity in the canal, he said on Sunday. The resulting delay in cotton planting will lead to a decline in its production, economic loss for farmers and a negative impact on the public treasury.

He also sharply criticized the Punjab leadership for failing to address the burning issue. “The Sicilian mafia occupying Punjab is unaware of these problems and has no solution,” he observed. Cotton farmers in South Punjab fear water scarcity will affect production.

Additionally, the governor noted, if the standing maize crop does not receive the last watering, the yield can be reduced by 4 to 5 maund per acre. Similarly, the cultivation of rice fields in the nursery will also start from mid-May and transplanting in the field from mid-June. It is feared that this whole process will be negatively affected due to water scarcity.

He warned that if the water and electricity conditions did not improve, the days ahead would be very difficult for the farmers and for the whole country. Commenting on media reports regarding water scarcity in other provinces, he added, there is no one to stop the theft of water in Sindh, criticizing the inaction of the provincial government. The link between the Sicilian Mafia and Zardari is costing poor farmers dearly,” he said.

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