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3 Punjab canals closed to provide water to Sindh and Balochistan

ISLAMABAD The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has decided to provide Sindh with additional supply of around 4,000 to 5,000 cusecs of water. Official sources said.

Irsa officials have closed Panjand, Taremo and TP link canals to divert the additional flows to Sindh.

The spokesperson for Sindh Chief Minister confirmed to the media that Irsa officials have assured the Provincial Government that Sindh will start receiving additional water flows in next two days.

The Authority took the decision after detailed consultations with the Punjab government. To provide the additional water to Sindh province, the authority has closed three canals in Punjab.

The Sindh government had been hitting hard against the Federal Government over the shortage of water flows claiming discrimination to Sindh and Balochistan, the two downstream provinces receiving Indus water.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had demanded of the Federal Government that the management of water distribution from the Mangla and Tarbela dams be given to Sindh and Balochistan on a rotational basis since the Water and Power Development Authority was not reliable as far as fair distribution of irrigation water was concerned.

The Chief Minister had stated at a press conference that the shortage of water would hit the province badly since early sowing took place in Sindh because of the weather conditions. He was also critical of the ‘unfair attitude’ of the federal water and power ministry for creating hurdles in installing power plants and transmission and distribution system.

On the other hand, earlier this month, the Balochistan Assembly passed a resolution against the stealing of water by Sindh and Punjab under the Irsa agreement.

The continued stealing of water by Sindh remains a major problem for farmers in Jaffarabad and Naseerabad districts, the resolution stated.

A Balochistan MPA Mohammad Khan Lehri, who tabled the Resolution had alleged that as per the agreement, Sindh was responsible for providing 2,500 cusecs of water during the growing season. He, however, claimed that since 1991, Balochistan was being denied the share as per the Irsa pact.

Under the 1991 Water Apportionment Accords, Balochistan was allocated 10,000 cusecs of canal water from flood and storage facilities. That decision made the water accords among the provinces a complete success as end recipients expected a fair deal. With the passage of time, the trust of Sindh and Balochistan was shattered and both the downstream recipients were denied their legitimate water supply from the Indus River System. That is why the province, later on joined by the KPK, opposed the proposed Kalabagh Dam as Punjab controlling the Indus River System betrayed the trust of three provinces.

It is not out of context to mention, Balochistan was supposed to get additional 10,000 cusecs of canal water from the Indus System by building the Kachhi Canal more than two decades ago. To this date, the Kachhi Canal is not built or is under construction for the past two decades only to deny canal water to Balochistan.

Now Pat Feeder is getting 2500 cusecs of water as against of 6000 cusecs of water and similarly Kirthar Canal is being provided 700 cusecs of canal water instead of 1400 cusecs. Thus the tail-enders—both Sindh and Balochistan—are the real sufferers for being down recipients in the Indus River System

Source: bexpress.com.pk

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