Sat, 28 May 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 13 (ANI): Heated arguments broke out between Indus River System Authority (IRSA) members of Sindh and Punjab provinces over water distribution arrangement.

At a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources, which met informally due to lack of quorum, an unpleasant scene was witnessed as both sides hurled accusations against each other on the current arrangement of water releases and water distribution mechanism.

Sindh government's team wrangled with Member IRSA Punjab on the issue of water distribution with Sindh Minister, Jam Khan Shoro asking why 42 per cent less water is being given to Sindh and why, when Sindh is facing a drinking water shortage, is water being released to link canals in Punjab, reported Business Recorder.

Due to April 2022 being ranked as the second driest month since 1961, the inflow of water has been recorded as low. According to IRSA, actual inflows during this period were recorded at 5.350 million acre-feet (MAF) as compared to the projected 8.590 MAF, showing a shortage of 38 per cent.

The Committee was informed that inflows from April 1 to 30, 2022 at Indus were 13 per cent less - 1.831 MAF from anticipated flows of 2.102 MAF whereas inflows at Kabul River were less by 46 per cent, Mangla by - 44 per cent, Chenab - 48 per cent and E-R component - 61 per cent. Irsa expressed surprise over the massive reduction in inflows from the Kabul river.

However, when the situation improved, with the increase in river inflows, Punjab's releases enhanced from 77,700 cusecs to 80,000 cusecs, and releases to Sindh increased to 67,000 cusecs.

After that, shortages for both Punjab and Sindh were reduced to 15 percent and 26 per cent with respect to provincial indents respectively from 51 per cent, as per the media portal.

Chairman Irsa stated that a 15 per cent shortage is being shared by Punjab while Sindh is facing a 26 per cent shortage. Sindh government also raised many questions about Left Bank Out Drain (LBOD) Drainage canal system, saying that Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) handed over a faulty project to the province.

The representatives of the Sindh government also refused to take control of Right Bank Canal Outfall Drain (RBOD) one and three until RBOD two is not constructed as per the Sindh government's plan. (ANI)

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