Shoro flays IRSA for illegally opening link canals

KARACHI   –   Sindh Minister for Irrigation Jam Khan Shoro on Monday expressed grave concern over current water scarcity in Sindh and water decline in Tarbela Dam at dead level, i.e. 1,398 feet, which would further exacerbate water crisis in the Sindh province.

The minister said in a statement that Tarbela Dam water had reached its dead level today because of the continuous water flow to Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals. He said that Indus River System Authority (IRSA) should be held responsible for creating miserable water crisis. Shoro said that despite strong reservations from the Sindh province, IRSA had opened the Chasma-Jhehlum and Taunsa- Panjnad link canals with the illegal support of Balochistan province which had brought Tarbela Dam to its lowest point of dead level.

Shoro said that Sindh province had already warned IRSA about Tarbela Dam’s dead level due to the opened CJ & TP link canals, and added that such decision of IRSA based on unjust will have a very negative effect on Sindh province and its agriculture sector.

He said that IRSA’s illegal actions would devastate the country’s economy and destroy the agricultural sector. The Sindh minister said that IRSA should ensure the equal distribution of allotted share of water among the provinces by strict implementation on the Water Agreement of 1991.

WB team seeks finalisation of Sindh Water Policy draft

A delegation of World Bank (WB) officials on Monday called on Sindh Minister for Irrigation Department Jam Khan Shoro at his office in Clifton, Karachi. The delegation was led by the task team leader for Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation (SWAT) project, Greg Browder, along with Francis Onimues, Josses Moeabi and other officials. The meeting discussed the status of SWAT project, Sindh Water Policy and the implementation of Sindh Barrages Improvement Projects in detail.

The meeting was attended by the concerned officers of irrigation department Sindh and SIDA, including Managing Director (MD), SIDA Pritam Das, Muhammad Ehsan Laghari and others. The MD SIDA informed that Sindh Irrigation Department had initially prepared a PC-1 of Rs300 million for the resettlement action plan to rehabilitate the areas which are located neaby Akram Wah and in this regard, Sindh government had approved it in the annual development scheme. “Further, Rs200 million has been added for PC1 under SWAT project for the resettlement action plan as well,” he added.

The task team leader of the SWAT Project, Mr Greg Browder, stressed that Sindh government has to finalise the draft of Sindh Water Policy during current year before the month of August because it would be difficult to process the project without finalising water policy.   On this occasion, Shoro informed that the draft of Sindh Water Policy was under process and very soon would be finalised by taking into confidence the all stakeholders.

He said that Sindh Water Policy is an important matter and we were facing lots of different inter-provincial issues and it was connected with the future’s generation of Sindh. He further said: “We couldn’t finalise the Sindh Water Policy without the consultations and consensus of stakeholders including organisation of farmers and others on it.”

Shoro assured his full cooperation and extended support in order to finalise the draft of Sindh Water Policy to the World Bank’s team leader Mr Greg Browder in order to proceed the Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation (SWAT) project as soon as possible. In the end, officers concerned also briefed the meeting about the status of Sindh Barrage Improvement Projects in details.

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