KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the Sindh government has allowed water for the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi subject to the condition that Karachi will also be given additional 1200 cusecs of water for domestic use. He was presiding over a meeting held here at New Secretariat on Tuesday in connection with Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting to be held in Islamabad on April 28.

The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Law Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Special Assistant to CM on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Taimore Talpur, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Irrigation Syed Jamal Shah, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif, Secretary IPC Aijaz Mangi, Secretary Forest Manzoor Sheikh and other concerned officers. Secretary Irrigation Syed Jamal Shah said that presently 1200 cusecs of water from River Indus was required for K-IV project (Karachi). “The requirement would reach to 1800 cusecs by 2020 and 2400 cusecs by 2025,” he told the meeting. The chief minister said that the fresh requirement for water should be shared by all the provinces since Karachi had accommodated people from all the four provinces.

He called upon other three federating units to emulate the example of Sindh, and help in meeting water requirements of the twin cities.

Discussing the supply of gas to localities within five-kilometer radius of gas producing fields, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif said that there were 347 villages located near gas producing fields. “The federal government is of the view that the provincial government should share the expenditures,” he informed.

Wasif further said that the total cost of gas connections to 347 villages would be Rs3591 million, out of which SSGC would invest Rs747 million and the remaining amount of Rs2844 million would be borne by the Sindh government.

The chief minister reiterated that in pursuance of Supreme Court’s (SC) judgment and prime minister’s directives, the federal government should bear the total cost of gas pipelines for gasification of villages located within five kilometers radius of gas producing fields.

He, however, said that he would manage the supply of gas to other villages which lay within the districts of gas producing fields.

Talking about short supply of water to Pat Feeder and Khirthar Canals, Secretary Irrigation Jamal Shah said the claim of Balochistan was unjustified, saying there was no legal provision under the 1991 Water Accord for monetary compensation on account of alleged short supplies of water.

The CM said that he was ready to start third party monitoring with the consensus of both the provinces. The secretary irrigation also presented a report to the chief minister that 83 unauthorised outlets in Guddu Barrage diverted water to Balochistan, which, he added, was in addition to their share.

National Water Policy

The secretary further said that Ministry of Water and Power had revised the draft National Policy on December 2, 2016. “Only two points of Sindh Irrigation Department, “due to water shortage recycling arrangements are essential” have been incorporated in the revised policy,” he told. The CM suggested another important point for evolving strong administrative machinery with judicial/ policing to assist provincial irrigation departments in proper delivery to have justice with the tail-enders. “Water allocations sanctioned for the project have sanctity. These should not be changed,” he said, and added that for ensuring tail-enders’ rights, special water courts, if needed, be established. Murad also said that the affluent coming from Balochistan and Punjab had destroyed lands in Qambar-Shahdadkot and Ghotki districts. “This may be put on the agenda that no untreated affluent would be accepted,” he said, and added, “Therefore, there should a clear-cut policy that the affluent draining down in the gravity to Sindh be treated first.” Secretary Energy Agha Wasif suggested that the Sindh government had the option to impose provincial tax on power plants, using wind as a natural resource.

The CM replied that the Sindh government might claim net profit from the electricity generated through natural gas, produced from the well located in Sindh; irrespective of power plant’s location. Constitution of Fiscal Coordination Committee: The Sindh government accorded approval to the making of a fiscal committee, which would provide a forum to highlight the unauthorised and arbitrary deductions made by FBR from the its account.

The agenda of the CCI meeting to be held in Islamabad on April 28 includes matters pertaining to the higher education and other similar bodies; formulation of National Flood Protection Plan IV, import of LNG, sixth population & housing census; National Forest Policy 2015; amendment in the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act 1997; supply of gas to localities/villages within five-kilometer radius of gas producing fields; short supplies of water to Pat Feeder and Khirthar Canals, allocation of 1200 cusecs (650.5 MGD) of additional water for Karachi city (K-IV) project and others.