ISLAMABAD: The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Advisory Committee (IAC) has increased water shares of Punjab and Sindh for Kharif season under Para 2 of Water Apportionment Accord, citing current improvement in water availability.

The decision was taken at a meeting of IAC which met on Monday under the chairmanship of Abdul Hameed Mengal, Chairman IRSA/ Member Balochistan, which was attended by all IRSA members, Director (Operation) and WAPDA authorities of Tarbela Dam.

The meeting was convened in the wake of present rim station inflow trends and Tunnel-5 (T5) constraints of Tarbela dam. WAPDA authorities informed the meeting that the restriction of filling of Tarbela Dam to the level of 1470 feet by July 20, 2024 could be curtailed to June 30, 2024 without affecting the existing works of T5.

According to IRSA, keeping in view the WAPDA’s revised constraints and the existing water situation, the water level at Tarbela Dam shall be maintained at 1470 feet by June 30, 2024 instead of July 20, 2024, after that IRSA will be free to fill the dam as per the criteria. However, WAPDA may make efforts to fill the dam up to 1475 feet in the next 10 days, if possible, to accommodate any variation in the river inflows.

The Authority also decided that with immediate effect the shortages to the provinces is reduced to zero and distribution is shifted to Para (2) of the Water Apportionment Accord (WAA) 1991; therefore, the following increased shares for Early Kharif 2024 are authorised to Punjab & Sindh provinces:

IAC has approved an increase in share of Punjab by 3.158 per cent to 12.424 MAF from initial allocation of 9.266 MAF whereas Sindh will get 2.744 per cent more water to 8. 292 MAF from 5.548 MAF under Para 2 of the respectively had approved 9.266 MAF and 5.548 MAF maximum shares of Punjab and Sindh, respectively.

It was also decided by the Authority that the other water distribution parameters as decided in IRSA Advisory Committee meeting held on April 2, 2024 shall remain the same.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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