The National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources on Monday took notice of thousands of cusecs of water going to waste in the country and directed to appoint inspectors for spot checking of water losses.
The committee meeting, presided over by Nawab Yousaf Talpur via video link, also directed to set up a committee consisting of representatives of Punjab and Sindh irrigation departments, and Indus River System Authority (Irsa) to examine and control water losses.
Parliamentary secretary for water resources, Punjab minister for irrigation department, Punjab and Sindh irrigation departments’ secretaries attended the meeting through video link.
The meeting was also attended by the Irsa chairman, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general, Pakistan Meteorological Department director general and senior civil officers of the Ministry of Water Resources and Wapda.
The committee was informed that the Canal System of Punjab was the biggest one of the country but the losses of water in Punjab were only 15% of the total losses of the country. After Punjab, 85% water losses were recorded between the area of Panjnad and Kotri.
The committee was also informed that thousands of cusecs of water was going to waste in the country, regularly.
It showed grave concern regarding the huge water losses, directing that the Punjab and Sindh irrigation departments, and Irsa should sit together and examine the reasons of the water losses.
The committee observed that the water losses could be stopped and the saved water could be utilised for betterment of the agriculture sector.
The committee directed that IRSA may deploy inspectors for spot checking to control water losses and misreporting.
The committee was informed that water was distributed accordingly after Water Apportionment Accord 1991.
After detailed deliberation, the standing committee directed Irsa to ensure distribution of water among different provinces under Section 2(B) of the Water Apportionment Accord 1991.
The meeting was also attended by members of the National Assembly Ali Nawaz Awan, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, Ch Shaukat Ali Bhatti, Dr Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik, Chaudhry Javed Iqbal Warraich, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Chaudhry Muhammad Hamid Hameed, Riazul Haq, Mir Munawwar Ali Talpur and Saleh Muhammad.
Last week, the Punjab Irrigation Department called for independent monitoring of barrages in Punjab and Sindh for water discharge measurement, urging Irsa to control water losses below the Kotri Barrage.
In a letter to Irsa, it urged it to take immediate measures to control unprecedented losses between Taunsa and Kotri barrages leading to worsening of water availability situation in the country.
It also requested independent monitoring of the barrages in both the provinces to weed out reporting lapses in discharge measurements in Sindh barrages.