Irsa says water distribution its responsibility

Published July 15, 2014
Irsa meeting had decided to remind to the water and power ministry that the issue of water distribution fell under the jurisdiction of Irsa. — File photo
Irsa meeting had decided to remind to the water and power ministry that the issue of water distribution fell under the jurisdiction of Irsa. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has decided in principle to write to the federal government, formally reminding it of its role as the sole regulator of water distribution among the provinces.

An Irsa meeting presided over by its chairman and attended by all members on Monday took note of the announcement made by the Water and Power Development Authority on July 10 that the government had asked Wapda to act as a focal agency to address apprehensions of the provinces over distribution of water.

Irsa member from Sindh Syed Mazhar Ali Shah said the meeting had decided to write to the ministry of water and power to remind it that the issue of distribution of water and related matters fell under the jurisdiction of Irsa and it had been performing its duty in resolving such issues.

The meeting resolved that the federal government should be requested to prevail upon Wapda to cooperate with Irsa in providing accurate record of hydrological data to ensure proper planning and water distribution.

Wapda told to address provinces’ fears over water distribution

A draft of the proposed letter was distributed among the members. The decision to write the letter or not would be based on comments of the members, sources said.

They said Irsa had received a copy of the letter written by Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Mohammad Asif to Wapda. The meeting noted that Wapda’s statement about the minister’s letter was not a true depiction of what he had desired.

They said the minister had not issued any unusual directive, but asked Wapda to perform its duty diligently. The minister had in fact taken notice of reports that Wapda was coming under criticism for providing data that contained discrepancies which a national organisation should avoid at all costs.

Sources in Isra said the minister was concerned over alleged reports of inaccurate data that had the potential to create disharmony among the provinces.

Meanwhile, river flows have improved significantly over the past couple of days as a result of surge in temperatures. The flows in Indus at Tarbela were recorded at 200,600 cusecs on Monday against 157,000 cusecs on Friday.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2014

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