HYDERABAD: As the war of words between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) continues to rouse political furore, Senator Sassui Palijo has blamed the former for cutting down water and electric supply to Sindh.
At a press conference in Hyderabad on Saturday, she went on to warn of turning some districts, which are frequently visited by PML-N leaders, into ‘no go areas’.
She complained that the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), under influence of the centre, is passing on the shortage in Indus river’s water to the lower riparian province. She disputed the IRSA’s figure of demand for supply of 40,000 cusecs of water to Sindh in the current season as underestimated. The province is receiving 21,000 cusecs against the projected demand, she said.
“We are suffering from more than 50% water shortage [in the province]. In Thatta, [the last district from where the Indus passes before ending in the sea] we don’t even have water to drink,” Palijo, who belongs to Thatta, claimed.
She indignantly questioned why Sindh was not being given additional water from the Mangla Dam. Last month, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also demanded that the federal government handover management of the Mangla and Tarbela dams to Sindh and Balochistan, while blaming the Water and Power Development Authority for unfair water distribution.
“The prime minister came to Thatta [on March 9] and announced the construction of a sea embankment to stop the sea intrusion, but he didn’t bother to talk about implementing the 1991 water accord so that Sindh and the tail-end district of Thatta get their due share of water which can naturally offset the intrusion,” Palijo said.
The senator said the PM made false promises by announcing development packages for Thatta and Hyderabad last month. She claimed that the federal government funded projects initiated by PPP’s federal government in 2011 have been halted by their successor.
Reacting to the press conference by Federal Power Minister Abid Sher Ali in Thatta on Thursday, she warned that PPP workers will not tolerate Ali’s abusive language, threats and punitive actions if he came to the city again and spoke in the same way. “Hundreds of villages and rural towns have been blacked out. The Hyderabad Electric Supply Company has removed hundreds of transformers and yet they are sending electricity bills and are adamant that the people should pay.”
Palijo took exception to the PM’s announcement of electricity and gas schemes in Punjab. “Despite being producers of the natural resource, Sindh and Balochistan are deprived of the gas which is only going to Punjab,” Palijo said, adding that Article 158 of the Constitution says a province producing gas has the first right to it.