A team formed on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari to remove the Balochistan government’s reservations over water theft by Sindh visited the Sukkur Barrage on Sunday.
Balochistan MNA Mir Aamir Khan, Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo and secretary Babar Afandi, Kamal Najeebullah and other officials were briefed by the Sukkur Barrage authorities, who told them that Sindh itself was facing water shortage.
The officials said that Balochistan was getting its share of water from the North West Canal (Kirthar Canal), but water theft had been reported from areas surrounding Garang Regulator, which is situated along the Sindh-Balochistan border.
Larkana chief engineer Jawed Memon suggested that Rangers personnel be deployed along the Kirthar Canal to discourage water theft. Irrigation department officials also proposed that the Kirthar Canal and the right pocket of Sukkur Barrage should be desilted to enhance their water carrying capacity, as the accumulation of silt blocks water flow. The engineers said on the occasion that the remodeling work along Kirthar would take nearly two and a half years.
Meanwhile, Sukkur Barrage executive engineer Aftab Khoso assured the investigating team that no water was being stolen from Sukkur Barrage. More than 135,000 cusecs of water is required by the barrage to properly supply all of its canals, but it was presently receiving 122,000 cusecs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.