CM Buzdar proposes independent observers on water management

Invites Sindh lawmakers to visit Punjab barrages to get accurate data of water emission

By: News Desk      Published: 11:06 AM, 30 May, 2021
CM Buzdar proposes independent observers on water management
File photo.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has proposed deployment of ‘independent observers’ at Punjab and Sindh barrages, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Punjab Chief Minister has also invited parliamentarians from all over the country, especially from Sindh, to visit Punjab barrages. He said the visiting lawmakers will be provided with accurate data of water emission.

In a statement on Sunday, the chief minister said that this initiative will help in the ‘equitable distribution’ of water among the provinces. And it will also help in clearing the misunderstandings between the provinces on the water issue.

See Also: Punjab, Sindh members clash in Irsa meeting

The observers will monitor the current water scarcity, water distribution and discharge reporting system in the province themselves.

“Parliamentarians will see with their own eyes how Punjab is making water discharge reporting transparent in its system,” the chief minister added.

He said that he also wanted Sindh to invite Punjab parliamentarians to visit their barrages so that lawmakers from Punjab could also take a closer look at the condition of barrages in Sindh, their water distribution and reporting system.

See Also: India interfering with water flow of Chenab at Baglihar: Irsa

Usman Buzdar urged instead of building walls between both provinces, there is a need to tear down these walls. 

He assured the Punjab farmers that he will solve their problems regarding water issues and he would personally meet them in coming days.

Punjab Irrigation Department informed on Saturday that a team from Sindh Irrigation Department headed by Nazeer Ahmad, XEN Design Guddu Barrage made a surprise visit to Panjnad Barrage to measure the discharges data and found them to be in complete accordance with the data reported by Punjab. 

Punjab Irrigation Department said, “We are committed to accuracy and transparency.”

Earlier, the Sindh Assembly saw a stormy session as the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party vehemently condemned the federal government for cutting down Sindh’s water share in violation of the 1991 Water Accord through a strong-worded resolution that was opposed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, saying the PPP created an artificial shortage by favouring its “blue-eyed waderas”.

Major opposition parties in the provincial assembly — Grand Democratic Alliance and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan — which are coalition partners of the PTI-led federal government, however, supported the resolution tabled by Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Sial.

On Thursday last, an Indus River System Authority report revealed fidgeting in the units of flow, citing misreporting in the inflow and outflow data of water from Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri barrages.

Irsa brought into focus the misreporting in measuring the flow of water from Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri barrages. The report also bore the signatures of water regulatory body’s members of Punjab and Sindh provinces. 

According to Irsa, 14 percent misreporting was observed in the water apportionment from Guddu barrage. The Irsa was provided with wrong figures regarding the outflow from Guddu barrage which was reported 27,000 cusecs less than the actual outflow. 

There was also an alteration in the inflow and outflow figures from Sukkur barrage. According to the data, the outflow from Sukkur barrage was stated 6,000 cusecs instead of 15,000 cusecs. 

The Guddu administration told Irsa that the water losses were reduced from 21 percent to seven percent. But in reality, water is being wasted in huge quantity from Taunsa to Guddu barrages.

The misreporting on Guddu and Sukkur barrages was brought into the notice of the Ministry for Water Resource. 

The Irsa report said that a large portion of water was being stolen from River Sindh. It also revealed that skewed water gadgets were installed over Guddu barrage.

According to the report, water was overflowing the gates of Guddu and Sukkur barrages. It said water was being stolen from one canal by attaching 50 water pipes.

Reporter Qazafi Butt