ISLAMABAD: Despite having differences over share of water, Sindh – for the first time in the history of Pakistan – has lent 23,000 cusecs of water from its share to Balochistan to avoid an expected shortfall of drinking water in the province.
On the other hand, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has increased – with an immediate effect –water share of Sindh from 40,000 cusecs to 45,000 cusecs as per its demand submitted on Thursday.
Talking to The Express Tribune, an official, who wished not to be named, said Sindh has lent extra water from its share to Balochistan for five days on special request made by Irsa.
Punjab lends upto 5,000 cusecs of water to Sindh amid shortfall
“Around 14,000 cusecs of water was released in Pet Feeder Canal and 9,000 cusecs of water was released into another canal in Balochsitan. Today Irsa has discontinued the water release to Balochsitan from Sindh’s share as per the agreement which was meant for five days,” said the official.
He said since January this year Balochistan has been facing water shortage and now the situation has worsened. “There were chances that Balochsitan may be hit by the worst water crisis, but Sindh province has rescued it well in time,” he added.
Earlier Balochistan’s secretary irrigation and power had written a letter to Irsa and told it that Sindh had halted supply of its share of 3,000 cusecs per day in Pat Feeder. The province had sought Irsa’s help.
Water scarcity forcing farmers to move to cities
Meanwhile, Irsa’s spokesperson Khalid Rana said the authority has increased water share of Sindh from 40,000 cusecs to 45,000 cusecs as per its demand. “The authority had received a demand from Sindh province to increase the water share in view of sowing of cotton crop.
Rana said around 65,000 cusecs of water had been released to Punjab and 31,000 cusecs to Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (K-P). He said water-inflow from Terbela Dam had been reduced by 9,000 cusecs which meant it had reduced from 30,000 cusecs to 21,000 cusecs.
“The recent spell of rain has helped to improve water levels in the reservoirs and hopefully in near future situation will remain stable,” he said, adding that the water level at Guddu Barrage had also increased as earlier it was too low.
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