River disputes: ‘Punjab water must come from Mangla’

Sindh government lists demands in a letter to Irsa.

Zafar Bhutta August 05, 2011


Sindh and Punjab may yet again be at loggerheads over the supply of water after the Sindh government sent a letter to the Indus River System Authority – the governing body on the country’s river water resources – asking for Punjab to be supplied water from the Mangla Dam rather than the Tarbela Dam.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the Sindh government fears that supplying water for Punjab from Tarbela Dam will drastically reduce the water levels at the reservoir and may cause a water shortage of up to 40% for the rabi (winter) growing season.

“Irsa should stop water releases to Punjab from Tarbela dam through the Chashma Jhelum canal and the Taunsa-Panjnad Canal in a bid to fill the dam to meet requirements of Rabi Season,” said the Sindh government in its letter.

Punjab normally uses water stored in Mangla Dam and other three provinces – Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – use water from Tarbela dam. The reasons for this are technical: Sindh cannot be supplied from Mangla dam owing to the fact that the water losses along the way would amount to between 70% and 80%, making the option unviable in a country that has scarce water resources.

Irsa is currently releasing about 13,000 cubic feet per second (cusec) of water to Punjab from the Tarbela dam and allowing water to fill the Mangla dam.

Both Tarbela and Mangla – the largest dams in the country – are below the levels they were at during the same period last year, despite the recent rainfall.

The water level at Tarbela was at 1,492 feet on Thursday, compared to 1,528 feet last during the same time year. The average water level at Tarbela over the last decade has been 1,515 feet. Mangla is at similarly depleted levels, at 1,197 feet compared to 1,206 feet last year.

“Irsa should stop filling Mangla Dam and release water from it to meet the requirements of Punjab province,” said the Sindh government in its letter.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.


hx | 12 years ago | Reply

@kla thank you for acknowledging that punjab is so powerful..didnt felt offended by ur comment it jst shows that u hate ur province for not being like punjab ..punjab was not presented to pakistan in a golden dish in 1947...we punjabis made punjab prosperous and the most powerful one.. if u cant make ur province better ...then there is no mistake of punjab

balochistan has oil, coastal areas more over gwadar!!..why not make gwadar a kind of dubai??? sindh ..oil, gas, coal, coastal areas..develop them!! KPK+GB...mountains lakes natural beauty ...develop tourism!! blame game wont do anything good...=)

ahmed | 12 years ago | Reply

Its funny they understand the use of dams and yet are against it

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