HYDERABAD: The Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) distributed compensation cheques to families whose homes were demolished during an anti-encroachment operation along Akram Wah embankments.
The operation was conducted to make room for the canal’s rehabilitation under a World Bank-funded program.
At the cheque distribution ceremony, 274 out of 1,647 families received the cheques, which were part of the Rs145 million compensation package provided by the Sindh government.
The Managing Director of Sida, Pritam Das, said that the Akram Wah canal would be remodeled under a separate World Bank-funded program of Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation (SWAT), which would commence soon.
The third-party consultant had surveyed to identify the 1,647 affected families whose katcha and pucca structures were demolished during the anti-encroachment operation.
The affected families lost shops and other household items, which affected their economic conditions. After a prolonged survey and verification process, the bank accounts of affected persons were opened to issue cheques.
The panel of experts, including Sindh Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor Dr Fateh Marri, Sindh Abadgar Board Leader Mehmood Nawaz Shah, rights activist Pushpa Kumari, and Prof Dr Junaid, vetted the process before it was put into operation.
SAB leader Mehmood Nawaz Shah raised concerns about the poor communities who had made humble abodes over the years and were asked one day to leave.
He questioned why the department concerned had remained quiet for so long and called for officials responsible for the fiasco to be brought to justice.
Pushpa Kumari welcomed the Sindh government’s decision to compensate the affected families, stating that those who lost their abodes always felt the pain of losing their homes where they had spent their entire lives.
Javed Hakim Memon, Sida’s General Manager of Research and Development, said the survey was verified by a non-governmental organization to avoid any errors.
Although the compensation process took some time to complete, the affected families finally received their due compensation.