Sindh refuses to accept unjust water distribution

Murad says no water distribution scheme other than 1991 Water Accord to be accepted

Sindh Chief Minister calls for strengthening IRSA, closure of link canals and releasing water downstream Kotri  


Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in a meeting with the Federal Minister for Water Resources Chaudhry Moonis Ellahi on Monday, said that his government would not accept any water sharing scheme, including 3-tier formula, other than 1991 water accord.

He urged that concrete measures should be taken to strengthen IRSA so that it could implement the water accord in its true letter and spirit and does not allow opening of link canals in the Punjab during early and late Kharif season.

The meeting was held at CM House. Federal Minister Moonis Ellahi was assisted by Federal Water Secretary Shahzad Bangash, Joint Secretary Water Mehar Ali Shah and Director Ashar Abbas Zaidi. The chief minister was assisted by Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Chief Engineer Irrigation Zareef Khero, Member IRSA Zahid Junejo and others.

At the outset, federal Minister said that he had started meeting with the stakeholders to hear their point of view on the water sharing scheme. He added that he wanted to resolve all the outstanding issues amicably.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told him that the 1991 accord was approved by the Council of Common Interest and was acceptable to all the provinces. “Our grievance is very simple that we want the federal government to strengthen the IRSA to enable the body to implement the water accord in its true letter and spirit,” he said and added that the IRSA has failed to implement the accord and allowed the Punjab to open its link canals.

Murad Ali Shah said that Water Accord 1991 was signed among the provinces on 16th March 1991 and was ratified by CCI on 21 March 1991. He added that the allocations to the provinces were mentioned in Para-2 of the Accord and Para-4 mentioned for distribution of flood-supplies and future storages. The Paras 6 and 7 were related to future storages and downstream Kotri and Para 13 was regarding establishment of IRSA.

Shah said that the detailed month‑wise/ 10‑daily‑wise distribution was not done in the first stage, however, a clause to work out 10‑daily allocations was included in the Accord, which was narrated in clause 14‑b. According to Para 14-a of the Accord, the system-wise allocations were worked out separately, on a 10-day basis and attached with the agreement as part and parcel of the Accord after the approval from CCI on 16.9.1991.

Giving allocations under the 1991 accord, the chief minister said that the Punjab was given 55.94 MAF or 47.7 percent water, including 37.07 MAF or 46.8 percent water in Kharif and 18.87 MAF or 49.4 percent in Rabi. Sindh’s share came to 48.76 MAF or 41.5 percent, including 33.94 MAF or 42.9 percent in Kharif and 14.82 MAF or 38.8 percent in Rabi. The KPK has been allocated 8.78 MAF or 7.5 percent water and Balochistan 3.87 MAF or 3.3 percent water.

The CM said that the 1977-82 Annual Average System Uses were used as a guideline according to the accord (Para 14-b) for developing 10- daily uses of the allocations mentioned in Para-2 of the Accord to fulfill the requirement of Accord according to Para-14 (a).

Comparing the water accord and annual average system uses (1977-82) with respect to Sindh-Punjab 1945 agreement, Murad Ali Shah said that the Punjab has taken 48.33 MAF water under Sindh-Punjab agreement of 1945,  got 54.55 MAf water under annual average system uses and 55.94 MAF under water accord 1991. He added that the figures showed that the Punjab had got 15.75 percent more water or benefit.

Talking about Balochistan, the CM said that they took a benefit of 217.21 percent by taking 1.22 MAF under 1945 agreement, 1.63 MAF under annual average system uses and 3.87 MAF under waster accord. He added that the KPK got 75.25 percent more water by drawing 5.01 MAF under 1945 agreement, 5.55 MAF under Annual Average System uses and 8.78 MAF under 1991 water accord.

Murad Ali Shah deplored that it was the province of Sindh which got benefit of only and only 0.04 percent more water by taking 48.74 MAF under 1945 agreement, 43.53 MAF under annual average system uses and 48.76 MAF under 1991 accord.

Talking about the role of the IRSA, Shah said that it has failed to implement sharing in shortage as per indicated seasonal allocations of different canal systems as ratified by CCI on 16th September 1991. He emphasized that the shortages should be shared by the provinces but IRSA has failed to implement it also.

Three-Tier Formula: The chief minister, discussing the impact of Three-tier formula during Kharif, said that Punjab, KPK and Balochistan would get more water, if distribution was made as per three tiers.

Murad Ali Shah elaborating his point said that 73.68 MAF water was available and under three-tier formula during Kharif the Punjab would get 38.21 MAF water, Sindh 31.80 MAF, Balochistan 2.85 MAF, KPK 0.82 MAF. He added that under the 1919 accord the Punjab would get 36.57 MAF water, Sindh 33.49 MAF, Balochistan 2.81 and KPK 0.80 MAF. “The difference between three tier formula vis a vis 1991 accord shows that Punjab would get 1.64 MAF, Balochistan 0.04 MAF and KPK 0.02 MAF more water and Sindh would get 1.69 MAL less water,” Shah said and added his government would not never accept three-tier formula because history showed that every successive formula has been curtailing the water share of people of Sindh.

Federal Minister Moonis Ellahi said that he was not in favor of reducing Sindh’s water share and that he would discuss the matter with other provinces so that just distribution of water could be ensured.

The chief minister also discussed downstream Kotri water escapade and said it was necessary for survival of the Indus delta.

Moonis Ellahi assured the chief minister that more discussions on distribution of water, strengthening of the IRSA and protection of the Indus delta would be held to find a durable solution. (PR)




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