Aiwan-e-Waqt Forum LAHORE The management of Indus Water System Authority (IRSA), by giving 45pc of Punjab water share to Sindh and not taking its farmers into confidence, has proved its enmity towards Punjab agriculture sector. The supply of water to provinces is purely a technical issue and it should be resolved according to merit and rules of law rather than through emotions. If current government believes in democratic norms, it should also make IRSA a democratic institution wherein dictator Pervez Musharraf allowed two members from Sindh by issuing ordinance rather than one. These views were expressed by water and agri experts while speaking at Aiwan-e-Waqt Forum on the subject Punjab water share and IRSAs recent decision here on Monday at Nawa-i-Waqt Building. Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Ibrahim Mughal said that IRSA has decided to give over 45 per cent Punjab water share to Sindh without taking provinces farmers into confidence. He termed IRSA decision as enmity towards Punjab agriculture. He claimed that currently Punjab direly needs water for its kharif crops including chilies, rice, sugarcane, maize, moong, mash pulses and cotton crops. He revealed that Punjab is producing 76 per cent of countrys total cotton, rice 70pc, and sugarcane over 65 per cent of countrys entire production. Conversely, Punjab is being given 37mac water share despite the fact province uses 14.5 million acre for agriculture purpose whereas Sindh province has 34 per cent kharif water share although it irrigates only 3.9 million acre soil. He said that Punjab is being victimised. That was why, it could not achieve its set targets of 11 out of 14 crops. He stressed that IRSA should delivered water share to all provinces with justice and for that purpose it should use telemeters. By putting blame on IRSA former Chairman who belonged to Sindh, he said that he discarded telemeters on the basis of dishonesty as he wanted to deprive Punjab of its right water share. Water Council Punjab Director Rabia Sultan said that it is wrong perception that Punjab does not need water share. She said wheat sowing season in Punjab has set-in in March-April whereas cotton has been sowing in the province since last February. Punjabi farmers are being compelled to use high-priced water of tubewells instead of cheap canal water. She calculated that Punjab peasants irrigate their fields at the rate of Rs55 per acre through river water. But now when their share has been given to Sindh, they have to irrigate their fields at the cost of Rs 1,200 per acre by using diesel-generated tubewells. It is pity, she said, that Sindh province, which has always opposed the construction of Kalabagh Dam, is receiving more water than its share. She claimed that Sindh is also getting more water portion from Mangla Dam. She asked how long Punjab would be made scapegoat. She advised if Punjab is acting as 'big brother towards other provinces, they should also take care of their 'big brother. She claimed that dictator Pervez Musharraf, by issuing an ordinance, installed two members from Sindh instead of one as decided when the regulatory was established. She said that at that time it was decided that all four provinces would have their one member in council and fifth member would belong to Federal. She claimed that Sindhs two members after getting support from Balochistan always pushed aside Punjab in all its meetings. She challenged that if current government believes in democratic norms, she should also bring democratic ethics in IRSA body by expelling Sindh one member. She claimed that both Sindh-Tass agreement and 1991 water accord were settled with political aspirations that affect only Punjab province badly. Water expert Malik Mohammad Tufail said that Punjabs 45 per cent water share to Sindh would impact negatively as Punjab farmers have no option but to get expensive water of tubewells. He regretted that on one hand, Punjab water share is being stolen, while on the other hand, government is imposing GST on agri produces that would lead further deteriorating condition of Punjab peasants. He said that India is also committing water aggression while our own countrymen also doing the same job, he concluded.