ISLAMABAD -  The water sector seems to be neglected again in the coming fiscal as the government is likely to allocate only Rs35 billion in the Public Sector Development Programme (2017-18) for the water sector, against the demand of Rs144 billion made by the Ministry of Water and Power, it is learnt reliably here.

The PSDP allocation during the coming fiscal is likely to be about Rs3.3 billion more than the PSDP 2016-17 allocation of Rs31.7 billion, official documents available with The Nation revealed. The executing agencies and Ministry of Water and Power has demanded Rs11.224 billion for the flood control programme but the ministry has allocated Rs800 million.

Similarly, for 10 dams’ projects the Ministry of Water and Power has demanded Rs30.7 billion for various irrigation/multi-purpose dams projects, however, the allocations recommended by the planning ministry for the next budget will be around Rs2,800 million. Rs1000 million were allocated For Nai Gaj dam, Dadu, against the demand of Rs10 billion, Rs10 million were allocated for Naulong dam, Balchistan, against the demand of Rs5.3 billion. For Kurrum Tangi dam stage-I, located in North Waziristan, Rs 200 million were allocated against the demand of Rs3495 million. Similarly for Kurrum Tangi dam stage-II, located in North Waziristan, Rs100 million were allocated against the demand of Rs6000 million.

For Kachhi Canal project phase-I, located in Balochistan, Rs13 billion were allocated against the demand of Rs17.2 billion. While for the Rainee Canal Project (Phase-I and II) Ghotki,Sukkur and Khairpur Sindh Rs500 million were allocated against the demand of Rs6.3 billion.

For Right Bank irrigation and Drainage Project (RBOD-I) Rs900 million were allocated, Rs1200 million were allocated for RBOD-III. For RBOD-II, the demand was Rs11 billion but the allocation will be Rs6.5 billion.

For the remedial measures to control water logging due to Muzaffargarh and TP Link Canal, Kot Addu, Distrcit Muzaffrgarh Rs800 million were allocated against the demand of Rs4 billion. For the federally funded projects in Sindh, Rs8 billion were allocated against the demand of Rs23.56 billion. For the projects in Punjab, Rs1.9 billion were allocated against the demand of Rs19.5 billion. For Balochistan projects, Rs3 billion were allocated against the demand of Rs14 billion, while for KP projects, Rs9.5 billion were demanded, however, only Rs1.7 billion were allocated. For the revamping/rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage system of Sindh, Rs500 million were allocated against the demand of Rs3000 million. Besides local PSDP funding, some projects will also get foreign exchange component during the current fiscal.

Meanwhile, an official of the ministry confided that despite marked the most water stress country the allocation is meagre. On the Metro bus project of one city, the government is spending Rs50 billion but for the water system of the entire country they have just allocated Rs35 billion.