Siyal accuses Centre, IRSA of depriving Sindh of its share of water

Irrigation minister says province is getting 37 per cent less than its share


Our Correspondent March 27, 2021
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI:

Sindh Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal accused the federal government and the regulatory body on the distribution of water resources, the Indus River System Authority, on Friday of not giving Sindh its due share of water.

Answering a question during a Sindh Assembly session, Siyal said, "We are getting 37 per cent less than our share of water [as] the IRSA, which regulate the distribution of water resources among the provinces, has been hijacked by the federal government that always uses its power of veto to undermine Sindh's version."

The minister told the house that there was a water shortage in various barrages on the Indus River in Sindh.

"There is 13 per cent less water in Guddu Barrage, 28 per cent less water in Kotri Barrage and 41 per cent less water in Sukkur Barrage," he elaborated, adding his department had been raising the issue with the federal government and in IRSA meetings, but in vain.

The minister urged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance lawmakers to pressurize the Centre in releasing Sindh's share of water, all three parties being an ally of the ruling PTI in the Centre.

Read: Pakistan to host next round of water talks

"I wonder why none of them have taken up Sindh's issue with the prime minister, federal government and relevant authorities," he said.

"They only criticise the Sindh government."

Lauding Sindh Chief Minister for fighting Sindh's case at multiple forums, including the Council of Common Interests (CCI), Siyal added, "Whenever the CM took up the issue in CCI meetings, majority, including the federal government, Punjab and PTI-led provinces, joined hands and voted against Sindh."

The minister said the Sindh chief minister had also written many letters to the IRSA and the prime ministers, asking for the release of Sindh's share of water and the provision of financial resources from divisible poll so that the province's affairs could be run, but he didn't receive any positive response.

On the matter of dams, Siyal said the Sindh government had constructed many dams across the province and 69 of those dams were in use.

"We have built dams in Thar too, where there is a severe water crisis," he said.

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