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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources Wednesday once again witnessed the exchange of barbs between Sindh and Punjab over water distribution formula amongst the provinces.

The meeting of standing committee was held at a time when Irsa has already stated that about 40-45% shortages are being distributed at the Rim-Stations, and had requested provinces to plan in advance the utilization of available supplies in the river system efficiently, cautiously and judiciously during the dip.

Sindh has been continuously accusing Punjab of stealing its water and violating Water Accord 1991 meant to deprive Sindh of its due share.

During the meeting presided over by Nawab Yousaf Talpur, the Committee also sought details of findings of Special Committee which visited Guddu barrage and Taunsa barrage to verify the claims of Sindh that its share of water released from Taunsa barrage is being stolen on its way to Guddu.

The Committee, however, was informed that the Special Committee, comprising two Members of the Committee and technical experts had not finalized the report yet and when completed, would be shared.

Depleting water resources termed major threat to country

The Special Committee, in its preliminary findings reached the conclusion that Punjab released 69000 cusecs of water from Taunsa barrage, but only 37000 cusecs of water reached Guddu barrage.

The representatives of Sindh government and Chairman Irsa/Member Sindh also referred to the water distribution mechanism of 1945.

Sindh maintains that the three-tier formula is not part of Water Accord but Punjab claims that formula is very much part of the accord, implementation of which is taking place when 114 MAF water is available.

The Committee decided to write letter to the Prime Minister on “missing” water and directed Members of IRSA from Sindh and Punjab to sit together and sort out the issue of missing water of 32,000 cusecs.

The Committee also directed Secretary Irrigation Punjab to be present in the meeting physically as his voice was not clear on the video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Abdul Haseeb Khan May 26, 2022 10:25am
don't build dams.
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