KARACHI    -     The Sindh province on Monday rejected the construction of hydropower plant at the Chashma Jhelum.

The provincial assembly on Monday passed a resolution tabled by PPP lawmaker Abdul Aziz Junejo while the opposition parties also submitted another resolution in the house.

The resolution passed by the house stated that this Assembly categorically rejects NOC given by Indus River System Authority (IRSA) for the controversial hydropower plant on the Chashma-Jhelum link canal. The move is against the wishes of the people of Sindh. This house also passed a resolution on January 20, 2010 opposing the project.

The house wants to remind the IRSA and the federal authorities that even the water cannot be released in Chashma-Jhelum link canal throughout the year and Sindh is already facing acute shortage of water and thousands of acres of coastal land have been eroded by sea. Hence the move is unwarranted.

The house recommends the government of Sindh to approach federal government to take up this issue of blatant flouting of the agreement and address the justified grievances of the people of the Sindh. This house further recommends that the controversial hydroelectric plant on the Chashma Jhelum link canal should be abandoned once and for all. Later, after the proceedings Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) Sindh leader and parliamentary party leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh demanded that the system of distribution of water amongst provinces should be given to a third party to maintain its transparency and fairness.

Talking to media outside Sindh assembly after submitting a resolution against controversial hydro-power project on Chamsha Jhelum Link Canal jointly with opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi, he said that though setting up of a run-of-the-river project makes all the sense to produce cheap hydro power; however, the CJ canal is mired with controversy. He said whenever this link has opened the share of Sindh water suffers, or the perception exists that it suffers. He said it is important for the federation that water is shared amongst provinces in letter and spirit as agreed under the IRSA accord.

Water sharing is an issue where we need transparency not only at the national but also at provincial level, he asserted, adding lower part of Sindh has suffered greatly due to the corruption in Sindh Irrigation department. They have favored the influential political feudal and have discriminated their political opponents have had to pay an exacting price.

Furthermore Sindh government has failed to protect the water ways, canals, rivers, channels from harmful effluents. The population of Sindh has no access to safe drinking water, regretted Haleem.

We demand a water policy from the federal and provincial governments for just distribution of water to all.

To ensure that those who steal water are made an example, he said, all water resources must be protected under the policy and those who steal or pollute them should be dealt harshly and expeditiously.

“PTI Sindh is watching this matter with a hawk eye and will not let the rights of the people Sindh on its due share of water be usurped by any other province, body, organization. We demand that Federal Government should address the issue immediately provide clarity and due assurance that this move by Punjab of giving out a contract for hydel power generation will not affect the water share of Sindh under any circumstance,” he said.

Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said the proposed project on CJLC is controversial and we fear that water of the share of Sindh would be stolen. He said influential persons are giving irrigational water in Sindh while tail-enders of Badin suffer a lot.

To a question, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan cannot meet Sindh CM till the chief minister is willing for such a meeting. He said if the provincial government did not give 40 percent financial share to local bodies their NFC funds would be stopped.