Wapda uses water meant for Sindh agriculture, provincial chamber alleges

Published May 11, 2022
This aerial view shows water leaving the Tarbela Dam spillway in Tarbela.—AFP/File
This aerial view shows water leaving the Tarbela Dam spillway in Tarbela.—AFP/File

HYDERABAD: The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) has held the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) responsible for present water shortage in the province and also strongly protested against opening of Chashma-Jhelum (CJ) link canal.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, SCA president Miran Mohammad Shah said 60pc water shortage was being reported at the barrages of Sindh, affecting millions of acres of command area.

He said the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) had released 67,000 cusecs of water downstream of Chashma for Sindh, which was insufficient. The province needed at least 100,000 cusecs in order to salvage Kharif crops that were drying fast, he added.

He demanded of the federal water resources ministry and Wapda to end shortage in Sindh by releasing the required amount of water downstream of Chashma and ensure storage of 0.5MAF water in Tarbela dam for the forthcoming early Kharif sowing in Sindh.

Accusing Punjab of robbing over 2,000 cusecs of water of Sindh by opening C-J link canal, he said the SCA strongly protested over the act. He said Wapda was equally responsible for present water shortage and added that early Kharif in Sindh began from March 1, when dams had no storage.

He said that instead of storing water for power generation separately, Wapda used available water which was otherwise meant for the agriculture sector of Sindh.

He reiterated that 0.5MAf water should be stored in Tarbela so that requirement of early Kharif sowing in Sindh could be met. He said that on the contrary, Wapda always created shortage in Tarbela dam in January and February period to use same water for electricity generation. That led to zero supplies of water in Sindh for agriculture, he said, adding that it was time when mercury also dropped in the upper reaches.

He said that Wapda should be restrained from using storages for electricity generation during early Kharif period in Sindh.

He said that currently Rice and Dadu canals of Sukkur barrage remained closed whereas Nara canal faced 21-day rotation programme. He said that such situation was badly affecting crops in Rohri and Nara canal command areas.

He also demanded an end to rotation programme in all canals of Sindh so that rice crop could be cultivated on time.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2022

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