The Standing Committee on Water Resources of the National Assembly received a briefing on Wednesday that Sindh was deprived of 46 percent of its share of water in Punjab (between Taunsa and Guddu dams) and Balochistan was losing nearly 84pc in Sindh.
This was the crux of a meeting of the standing committee chaired by MNA Muhammad Yousaf Talpur who attributed the loss of water in Punjab to theft and recommended that water distribution among the provinces be in accordance with paragraph 2 of the 1991 agreement in all cases, instead of a three-tiered formula adopted by the water regulatory body to address the scarcity.
MNA Khalid Magsi, who led a subcommittee appointed by the National Assembly’s standing committee reported after a field visit and monitoring of measures that the inter-provincial confidence gap was the most critical issue at present with regard to measuring water discharges at various stations, in particular, the Taunsa, Guddu, and Sukkur barrages.
Mr. Magsi stated that despite the use of a state-of-the-art hydrologic measuring system — Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) — reliable worldwide, provinces, especially Punjab and Sindh, changed positions depending on their respective locations and raised suspicions and objections.
In particular, he mentioned that the subcommittee measured 37,000 cusecs of water in Guddu while Sindh reported 47,000 cusecs. Punjab, however, opposed these measures.
On the other hand, it was reported that Balochistan obtained 84 % less water from its share allocated by the Indus River System Authority (Irsa). However, Sindh’s representatives claimed that Irsa’s allocation to Balochistan was incorrect and that Sindh could not guarantee such quantities to Balochistan when Sindh itself did not receive its approved share.
Yousaf Talpur asked the Sindh and Baluchistan irrigation ministers to hold a meeting with their respective members in Irsa and the province’s irrigation authorities to find a solution.
Irsa’s Punjab member demanded that ADCP’s measurement be referred to an international expert to conclude why distortions crop up. He said that the issue of water supply in the event of a shortage was pending with the CCI.