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Pak: Sindh water crisis skyrockets due to 'indecisive' water governance

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Karachi | May 23, 2022 7:24:37 PM IST
Amid the ongoing water shortage in Pakistan and incessant rise in water theft, a high profile committee has been appointed during the proceedings of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Water Resources in Islamabad to deal with the alarming crisis.

The meeting was attended by Sindh irrigation minister Jam Khan Shoro while the core investigative team included the ministry's joint secretary, the chairman of Indus River System Authority (IRSA), IRSA Punjab and Balochistan members, as well as members of the national assembly from Balochistan and Punjab.

According to Dawn, the team measured discharges at Taunsa, Guddu and Sukkur barrages with state of art devices like ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), which is a rare exercise in recent times, and found out missing flows between Taunsa and Guddu at 16,000 cusecs in May which means flows were used in Punjab at a cost of Sindh's share of water, cited sources.

Earlier in August 2019, an IRSA team claimed to have detected water theft at Guddu and Sukkur barrages as well.

While Sindh has proved missing flows, the small and medium-sized farmers have also been heavily affected. This puts them at disadvantage for they lack clout in water governance as the elite, regardless of political, bureaucratic, police or law enforcement backgrounds.

Rangers' deployment to control water theft is a financial burden on Sindh's kitty as they charge for logistics however it is also indicative of the government's failure to check water theft.

The water situation in Sindh has worsened with little water flowing into its Indus-linked canals province from the upstream region of Punjab, sparking a small kerfuffle between the irrigation and water ministers of the two provinces.

The situation worsened this year with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah pointing out a water shortage of nearly 40 per cent. Highlighting how dire the situation has been in the province, he asked rice farmers to avoid cultivating the water-intensive crop this year, the report said. (ANI)

 
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