KARACHI: Expressing grave concern over water scarcity in the province, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Sunday said that water shortage in Sindh’s barrages had aggravated to an alarming level.

In a statement, he said that Kotri Barrage was facing 72 per cent water shortage, adding that water supply to industries was now likely to be affected amid a crisis of irrigation and potable water.

The information minister said that Indus River System Authority (Irsa) had failed to implement the 1991 Water Accord and added that Irsa had been following the three-tier formula for distribution of water among provinces for many years which was illegal and against its mandate.

Mr Memon said that the three-tier formula had no legal status. “It was introduced at a meeting of a ministerial committee in May 1994, but later on due to protest by Sindh, it was declared null and void by the chief executive of Pakistan and the ministry of water and power on Oct 23, 2000,” he added.

The minister said that at present, distribution of water in federating units was being done under the same three-tier formula which was injustice to Sindh. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were exempted from sharing water scarcity.

“Only Sindh has to bear the entire burden of water scarcity,” he lamented.

The provincial information minister said that Punjab took more water than its share during water shortage periods which was evident from Irsa’s own reports.

He demanded immediate closure of flood canals.

He said that farmers, women, senior citizens and children were taking to streets from Kashmore to Keenjhar in protest over the situation.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022

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