KARACHI: The Sindh government has rejected the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s offer to organise a visit of lawmakers to the Punjab barrages amid the issue of water shortage.
CM Usman Buzdar had invited Sindh lawmaker to visit Punjab barrages in a step to resolve the issue raised by Sindh regarding the designated water allocation. Sindh Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal said in a statement that the provincial lawmakers will not visit barrages in Punjab. He said that the provincial government has complained and protested against the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), hence there is no need to visit Punjab.
Siyal said Punjab chief minister should give a reply over releasing water in Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal and Taunsa-Panjnad (TP) Link Canal.
The minister was of the view that the link canals were illegally opened in Punjab, causing a huge financial loss to Sindh up to $3 billion. He added that Sindh province must be given 33 million acre-feet (MAF) of water this season under the designated allocation.
Sohail Anwar Siyal complained about getting a reduced share of water up to 30 MAF of water. On the other hand, the provincial irrigation minister offered experts from Punjab to visit Sindh for ascertaining the facts. Earlier on May 28, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) had cut down the water share of Sindh and Punjab due to an “excessive” shortage of water in the country.
According to a statement released by IRSA, after the reduction in water share, Punjab is getting 83,000 cusecs of water, while Sindh is being provided 74,000 cusecs of water.
Due to prevailing limited storage available in reservoirs and tumbling river inflows, it was inevitable to apply cut on provincial shares, the water body had said in a statement.
The Irsa spokesperson had expressed hope that the water situation in rivers would improve in the next 48/72 hours.
The ongoing tug of war between the IRSA members from Sindh and Punjab over water distribution has touched a new high over the opening of TP Link Canal from Indus at a time when the low riparian federating units are craving for water even for drinking purpose.
On the other hand, Indus River System Authority (IRSA) on Monday readjusted the water supply to the provinces by increasing the water supply of Sindh and Punjab after increase in the inflow of water in the rivers.
According to a statement issued on Monday, spokesperson for the IRSA said that the water supply to Sindh has been increased by 35,000 cusecs and 18,000 cusecs to Punjab.
The spokesman said that the inflow of water into the rivers has increased by 24 percent. The inflow of water in the rivers has increased to 225,000 cusecs. Earlier, on May 28, the water inflow was 100,000 cusecs.
“Water shortage in the rivers has come down from 32 percent to 18 percent,” the spokesman said. The water supply to Sindh has been increased to 109,000 cusecs by IRSA after the increase in water inflow. Sindh was previously being supplied with 74,000 cusecs of water.
The statement said that water supply to Punjab has been increased by 18,000 cusecs. Water supply for Punjab has been increased from 83,000 cusecs to 101,000 cusecs.
The spokesperson went on to say that the flow of river water was constantly increasing as the temperatures rises in the northern areas. “The institution is constantly monitoring the situation.”