IrrigationNews

Sindh continues to suffer due to water shortage

Indus River System Authority doesn’t release Sindh’s due share of water in violation of 1991 Water Accord

Work on 32 water channels has stopped by PTI govt. due to non-availability of funds while 21 other schemes of water channels are in doldrums as the federal govt. is not interested to work or release budget – Sindh Irrigation Minister

Sindh Courier

Karachi

Sindh continues to suffer due to water shortage as the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) doesn’t release Sindh’s due share of water in violation of 1991 Water Accord, said Jam Khan Shoro, provincial minister for irrigation at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Jam Khan Shoro, who was accompanied by Information Minister Saeed Ghani, said that denying Sindh of due share of water would also create acute water shortage in Balochistan.

“Beside the shortage of water in Rice Canal, Dadu Canal and other canals, there is no discharge of water to the and as a result sea intrusion has also chipped away 2.2 to 3.2 million acres of agricultural land in coastal belt of province,” Shoro told.

He said that billions of rupees of Sindh government have been wasted due to wrong planning of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) and Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) projects. “LBOD was built during the regime of Gen. Zia which is causing severe damages and losses during heavy rains in Badin, Tharparkar and Mirpurkhas districts and also has disturbed the natural ways of water bodies.”

“Keeping this in view, Sindh Irrigation department made a strategy of starting work on water lining of canals in the province and more than 3200 kilometers of lining work of different canals has been completed from 2008 to date,” he said adding that lining work of different canals is underway which will covers 509 kilometers.

Shoro informed that there were 138 annual development schemes in the water and drainage sector out of them 84 are likely to be completed at the end of the financial year. He added that 04 development project of Thar coal with the cost of 546 billion would also be completed and out of 7 development schemes of matching allocation, 5 would be completed in the next year.

He informed that a development scheme under PSDD was started by former president Asif Ali Zardari and 109 different water channels would be constructed according to this scheme. “Some 56 water channel were completed by Sindh Government while the ongoing work on 32 water channels has stopped by PTI government due to non-availability of funds and there are 21 schemes of water channels on which the federal government is not interested to work or release budget.”

Minister Jam Khan Shoro further said that 44 small dams have been completed while 15 other dams are under construction in order to overcome water scarcity in Tharparkar, Kachho and other arid zones.

Shoro further said that Sindh Irrigation department is working on three development projects including rehabilitation of Sukkur and Gudu barrages under the Sindh Barrages improvements program with the financial support of World Bank. He added that Sindh Resilience & SWAT are other two development projects of World Bank. Under the Sindh Resilience program 09 embankments of Indus River have strengthened and rehabilitated while construction of 14 small dams is also underway, which is likely to be completed in current financial year.

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