SUKKUR: An acute shortage of water is bound to cause extensive damage to crops across Sindh, a senior official warned on Friday. The agriculture sector of Sindh will be severely affected due to “a record shortage” of water in barrages, they said.
Abdul Aziz Soomro, the official in charge of the Sukkur Barrage control room, said that the water level at Guddu and Sukkur barrages had dropped to an alarming level.
The shortage has increased from the recent 40pc to 51pc now at Kotri, Guddu and Sukkur barrages which will definitely affect crops in Sindh, according to him.
“Due to water shortage at Guddu and Sukkur barrages, flows into several canals were on a decline,” said Mr Soomro.
Delayed rains may devastate agriculture sector
He pointed out that until recently, the shortage at Sukkur barrage was recorded at 45pc. In order to cope with the situation, releases were made into Khirthar Canal to cater to people’s drinking and cooking needs. Other canals were facing a similar situation, he added.
“Some of the canals fed through Guddu and Sukkur barrages had been closed down for the time being,” he said, adding that if rains did not start on time in the upper region of Sindh, then water shortage would aggravate and there might be no water available even for drinking purpose. In such a case, the agriculture sector would face devastation, he warned.
Mr Soomro said that Dadu and Rice canals were supposed to be opened on May 1 but due to the shortage, they were kept closed.
Ghotki Put Feeder and Begari Canal fed through Guddu Barrage also had to be closed down, he said.
Giving details about water flows at Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri barrages, the official said that at present inflow and release were recorded at 33,253 cusecs at Guddu. At Sukkur Barrage, the inflow was 29,595 cusecs and discharge was 9,415 cusecs whereas the inflow at Kotri was recorded at 5,400 cusecs and discharge at 205 cusecs.
Mr Soomro warned that if such a shortage persisted or aggravated, this would badly affect irrigation and crops in Sindh.
According to him, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has released 30,000 cusecs which will reach Sukkur in coming days to improve the situation.
Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2022
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