The Punjab government has approved provision of a police contingent to the Irrigation Department to control the increasing incidents of water theft and canal breach during the Kharif season.
According to details, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while taking notice of such incidents, approved provision of one assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and four constables to each division of the Irrigation Department.
The department will now have assistance of the police in its all 26 divisions across Punjab. The government has also directed police stations to register cases under the anti-terrorism act against those involved in making deliberate breaches and cuts in canals.
Also, water theft cases will be considered as non-bailable offence. DPOs and the executive engineers will meet on a regular basis to ensure cases are pursued against the accused.
The Punjab government has instructed all the (district police officers) DPOs and district coordination officers (DCOs) to adopt strict possible measures against those involved in water theft.
The Punjab Police chief has also informed all the DPOs about recent amendments in the Canal Drainage Act, 1873, which provides that offence of unauthorised irrigation (water theft) shall be cognisable and non-bailable for its enforcement.
Chief Minister Sharif has also constituted a high-level committee under the irrigation minister with irrigation and hime secretaries as its members to monitor the steps for controlling water theft incidents.