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ISLAMABAD: Indus River System Authority (Irsa) on Friday further reduced shares of Punjab and Sindh by 9 percent to 32 percent from 23 percent due to massive inflow shortfall.

The water regulator took this pressing decision at a time when political leadership of both Sindh and Punjab are openly criticizing each other on water distribution.

Tarbela reservoir has already reached dead level of 14000 ft and only inflows are being released from the reservoir to the provinces as per agreed shares. Total inflows and outflows are 1000 cusecs of which live inflow was 0.066 cusecs. Mangla’s level was 1104.80 feet with live inflows of 0.473 cusecs.

Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh also held a meeting with the officials of Irsa on Friday and sought clarification on current water crisis and measures to be taken to deal effectively with the crisis. Irsa members from Sindh Zahid Junejo and member Balochistan Abdul Hameed Mengal were also present in the meeting.

Balochistan has raised its concerns at every forum that Sindh is not giving its due water share but their grievance has not been dealt with so far.

According to Irsa spokesperson, good news is that temperature in Indus catchments has started rising and on Friday it was 26.1 degree against Thursday’s temperature of 23.9 degree.

As per Pakistan Met Department hopefully it will continue and situation will improve in the next 48/72 hours.

However, due to prevailing limited storage available in reservoirs and tumbling river inflows it was inevitable to apply a cut on provincial shares.

The spokesperson further stated that as per availability shortages for Punjab and Sindh have increased to 32 percent (previously 23 percent) with immediate effect. However, KP and Balochistan shall remain exempt from sharing of shortages. He further stated Punjab & Sindh shares will be 83,000 cusecs and 74,000 cusecs from Friday till further review by the water regulator.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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