KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed a Sindh Irrigation (Amendment) Bill, 2011 that stipulates if squatters occupying land on water courses (Aabi Guzargha) in Sindh does not vacate it within seven days after government warning may face imprisonment and fine that may extend up to 10 years and Rs10 million, respectively.
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro told the house that many encroachments had been made on paths above watercourses. Torrential rains of 2011, he said, inflicted more damages when those encroachments blocked the flow of water. In order to smooth flow of water it is necessary to remove those encroachments and get the land vacated, he said.
Soomro said heavy rains were also expected next year though it was the responsibility of government to protect lives of people. He said during regimes of military dictators’ large portion of land on watercourses were leased where people started living thereafter.
PPP MPA and Chairman Public Accounts Committee Jam Tamachi Unar said British had made all laws and we needed to implement them. He said till honest officers were not appointed, no one would adhere a law.
PPP MPAs including Haji Munawar Abbasi, Dr. Nasrrullah Baloch, Dr. Sikander Mandhro, MQM’s Heer Ismail Soho and PML-F’s Nusrat Sehar Abbassi also supported the bill.