SUKKUR: Residents of Sukkur are experiencing an acute water shortage ahead of the annual closure of Sukkur Barrage.
The chief engineer of Sukkur Barrage announced the closure, adding that canals would be taken off for annual repair and maintenance from January 6 to 20. All gates of the main barrage are to be raised at 12am on January 6 in order to minimize pond level.
The North Sindh Urban Services Corporation (NSUSC), which is responsible for sanitation and water supply, has yet to provide an adequate water supply in light of the barrage closure. Director of operations at NSUSC Abid Hussaini claimed a few weeks ago that the utility had taken effective measures in providing drinking water to the citizens from alternate sources. Despite this, no water is being supplied to residents for more than 30 hours four days ahead of the closure.
Spokesperson for NSUSC Kapil Dev said that the river has already started receding due to the reduced pond level. This 30-40% reduction in water level during closure is what causes the shortage, said Dev. He added that although arrangements for water supply from an alternate source have been finalised, residents will still face shortage from January 2 to 26.
Areas most affected include New Pind, New Goth, Adam Shah Colony, Microwave Colony, Numaish Road, Qureshi Road, Old Sukkur, Baban Shah Colony, and Royal Road, where residents normally receive water supply once or twice a week.
Municipal authorities have cited scarcity of funds as the reason for their inability to resolve the situation. The NSUSC, which is heavily funded by the Asian Development Bank and Sindh government, took over responsibility for sanitation and water supply in January 2011 but shortage since then has only worsened.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.
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