ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The Technical Committee on Water Resources, headed by A.N.G. Abbasi, presented its report to the president and the prime minister in August 2005.

Dawn has obtained a copy of this report. Here is the first part of text of the background, logistics and procedures and the summary of conclusions and recommendations by the chairman, TCWR.

Report of Technical Committee on Water Resources including report of seven members of the Committee with comments of the Chairman

PART-I

Background, Logistics and Procedures

Contents

Letter of Transmittal

1. Announcement

2. Notification of the Technical Committee on Water Resources

3. Logistics for the Technical Committee on Water Resources

4. Meetings of Technical committee on Water Resources

5. Meetings of Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources

6. Studies of river basins and reservoirs in other countries

7. Visit to provinces

8. Consensus on the TORs of the Technical Committee

9. Meetings with the President / Prime Minister and Minister for

Water and Power

10. Reports of the Technical Committee

11. Extension in time for submission of the Report of the

Technical

12. Acknowledgements

13. Annexures

No. TC(WR)1(2)Tech/2005/513

Government of Pakistan

Ministry of Water and Power

Technical Committee on Water Resources

State Life Building No. 9, 5th Floor (West Wing) Blue Area.

Islamabad, dated, August 2005.

1. General Pervez Musharraf

President

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Islamabad.

2. Mr. Shaukat Aziz

Prime Minister

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Islamabad

Subject: Report of Technical Committee on Water Resources

I have the honour to submit herewith the report of the Technical Committee on Water Resources. The report consists of two parts. Part-I of the report relates to the background, logistics and procedures of the Technical Committee. Part-II of the report pertains to examination of the TORs, conclusions and recommendations. The summary of conclusions and recommendations on the TORs has also been prepared as a separate compilation.

As decided in the meeting held by the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on May 2005, a report containing the views of the seven members of Technical Committee duly signed by them alongwith copy of note of the eighth member of the Technical Committee was provided to me on June 9th 2005. A copy of this report of seven members has been included in the report of the Technical Committee on Water Resources as an attachment. As directed by the president, my comments on the points mentioned in the report of the seven members have also been incorporated in the report of the Technical Committee.

I apologize that consensus could not be reached in the preparation of this report. However, best possible efforts have been put forward to examine the issues involved, for facilitating objective decisions.

I am extremely grateful for your confidence and trust, and continued assistance in the affairs of the Technical Committee.

I dedicate this modest and humble effort of the great Pakistani nation and its future generation.

(A.N.G. Abbasi)

Chairman

Technical Committee on Water Resources

Copy with compliments to

Mr. Liaquat Ali Jatoi, Minister for Water and Power, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

Report of Technical Committee on water Resources Part –I

Background, logistics and procedures

1. Announcement

1.1. On August 25, 2003, the President of Pakistan called a meeting of technocrats and agriculturists from Sindh at Governor’s House, Karachi to discuss matters relating to water management and distribution, construction of future reservoirs and irrigation schemes, water availability, outflow to sea etc. While addressing the participants of this meeting, the president announced the appointment of Mr A.N.G. Abbasi as chairman of Technical Committee on Water Resources, to examine contentious water issues and submit recommendations to the Federal Government.

1.2. On the directives of the president, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Zulfiqar Ali Khan, the then Chairman, Wapda, held a meeting with the chairman designate of Technical Committee on Water Resources (Mr A.N.G. Abbasi) on August 26, 2003, at Wapda rest house, Karachi to discuss and decide the terms of reference (TORs) for the committee and other matters related thereto. The TORs and other matters related to the Technical Committee on Water Resources were accordingly decided in this meeting. The then chairman, Wapda informed the chairman designate of the Technical Committee that the formal notification for the constitution of the committee, including the TORs and other matters as decided in the meeting, will be issued by the Federal Government shortly.

2. Notification of the Technical Committee on Water Resources.

2.1. The notification for constitution of the Technical Committee on Water Resources was issued by the Ministry of Water & Power on November 15, 2003 (Annexure I-1), in which the names of the Chairman and the members of Technical Committee on Water Resources and its terms of reference (TORs) were notified. This notification was issued after nearly three months from the date on which the president announced the appointment of chairman of Technical Committee on Water Resources.

2.2. The notification of November 15, 2003, was not in accordance with the decisions taken in the meeting held at Karachi on August 26, 2003, between the then chairman, Wapda (Lt. Gen. (Retd) Zulfiqar Ali Khan) and the Chairman designate of Technical Committee on Water Resources (Mr A.N.G. Abbasi), under instructions of the President of Pakistan. This situation arose because no one had contacted the chairman-designate since August 2003, till the issue of notification. The chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources therefore submitted a summary (Annexure I-2), to the president and the prime minister of Pakistan, with a copy to the then minister for water and power on December 8, 2003. In this summary the variations and omissions in the notification of November 15, 2003, were pointed out with a request to issue a revised notification accordingly. In pursuance of this request of the chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources, a second notification was issued by the Ministry of Water and Power on February 11, 2004 (Annexure I-3). In this notification, two additional terms of reference were included, four co-opted members of the Technical Committee were appointed and the secretary of the Technical Committee was also appointed.

3. Logistics for the Technical Committee on Water Resources

Since the Technical Committee on Water Resources was assigned a very important task to be completed in a short time, and the announcement about the Committee and appointment of the chairman designate was made by the president more than five months before the issue of formal notifications, it was to be expected that the logistic arrangements etc. for the working of the Technical Committee on Water Resources would have been made beforehand to enable it to start functioning right away. However, this was not done. The chairman and secretary, Technical Committee on Water Resources who assumed the charge in response to the notification dated February 11, 2004, had therefore to struggle hard for getting a minimum requirement of logistics arrangements to enable them to start the work. The proverbial redtape did not spare the Technical Committee and it had to meet hurdles and handicaps at every step in its efforts to arrange accommodation, staff, budget grant, etc. It took over three months before the committee could settle down. In this respect, the chairman, Technical Committee gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr Saeedullah Jan, former Secretary, Water and Power and Mr Tariq Hameed, chairman, Wapda, in arranging office accommodation, equipment, furniture, vehicles etc.

4. Meetings of Technical Committee on Water Resources

4.1. The first meeting of the Technical Committee on Water Resources was held in the office of the chief engineering adviser/chairman, Federal Flood Commission on March 11, 2004. Besides the members and co-opted members of Technical Committee the following participants were also invited to attend the meeting and also subsequent meetings of the Committee:

(i) Senator Nisar A. Memon, chairman, Parliamentary committee on Water Resources, Islamabad.

(ii) Secretary, Water and Power, Islamabad.

(iii) Additional / special secretary, Water and Power, Islamabad.

(iv) Chairman, Wapda, Lahore.

In this meeting the basic procedures regarding collection of data from the concerned agencies i.e. Planning and Development Division, Wapda, Irsa, and Ministry of Water and Power were discussed. In accordance with the decisions taken in this meeting, the co-opted members of Technical Committee on Water Resources namely secretary, Planning and Development Division, member (water), Wapda, chairman, Irsa and chief engineering adviser were requested to prepare position-cum-approach papers in respect of the TORs concerning each of them as listed in (Annexure I-4).

4.2 It was also decided in the first meeting that:-

i. The Water Accord 1991 is sacrosanct and has to be implemented in letter and spirit.

ii. The basic recorded data of Wapda shall be acceptable to the Technical Committee on Water Resources.

4.3 The terms of reference of the Technical Committee as notified by the government in the two notifications dated November 15, 2003, (Annexure-I-1) and February 11, 2004 (Annexure I-3) were consolidated and renumbered as under:-

1. “Review issues relating to distribution of water according to 1991 Water Apportionment Accord and submit recommendations for streamlining water distribution amongst the provinces”.

2. “Assess the need for constructing dams / reservoirs for future requirements and to make up for the shortages of water due to silting of Tarbela and Mangla dams and recommend sequencing of future storages”.

3. “Review the progress achieved so far regarding study on escapages below Kotri and recommend measures to expedite the completion of the study”.

4-a. “Determination of water availability for future reservoirs and irrigation schemes”.

4-b. “Ascertain actual quantity of water passed downstream Kotri from 1976-2003”.

5-a. “Examine the filling criteria of Mangla reservoir and make recommendations in his regard”.

5-b. “Examination of operation criteria of link canals and future reservoirs”.

6. “Complement the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources in the discharge of its functions”.

4.4 In pursuance of the decision taken in the first meeting of the Technical Committee on Water Resources, member (water), Wapda, chairman, IRSA and chief engineering adviser prepared and sent the position papers to chairman and the members of the Technical Committee. However, the Planning and Development Division Informed that the position papers prepared by Wapda had been reviewed by planning and Development Division and they endorsed these papers. Therefore, these papers should be considered as combined papers from Wapda and Planning and Development Division. Copies of the position papers received from Wapda, Irsa and Chief Engineering Adviser are placed in the Document Box.

4.5 To continue the deliberations of the Committee, it was decided that the co-opted members concerned will be requested to make presentations to the Technical Committee on Water Resources in respect of each TOR on the basis of the points communicated to them and that they may also add any more points in the presentations if so desired by them. However, the following TORs were excluded from the presentations, because of reasons indicated against each:-

TOR-3 “Review the progress achieved so far regarding study on escapages below Kotri and recommend measures to expedite the completion of the study”.

The position paper already supplied by the chief engineering adviser was considered adequate. It was felt that progress of the three studies could be monitored through monthly progress reports.

TOR-4(b) “Ascertain actual quality of water passed downstream Kotri from 1976-2003”.

The information supplied by Wapda regarding outflow to sea in post Tarbela period was based on recorded data and therefore considered acceptable.

TOR-6 “Complement the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources in the discharge of its functions.

No information, data or presentation is required for this TOR.

4.6 The second meeting of the Technical Committee on Water Resources was fixed for 21st June 2004, for consideration of TOR-4(a) “Determination of water availability for future reservoirs and irrigation schemes”. The Member (Water), WAPDA and Secretary, Planning and Development Division were requested to make the presentations on the points supplied to them, and they also confirmed to make the presentations.

4.7 At the last minute, only two days before the date fixed for the meeting, the Planning and Development Division declined to make the presentation. Efforts were made to persuade them to make the presentation but of no avail. The second meeting of the Technical Committee had therefore to be postponed.

4.8 The Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources felt that under the circumstances when the co-opted members concerned are reluctant to make the presentations to the Technical Committee, the Committee could not accomplish its task in an objective manner. Moreover, some of the logistic problems of the Committee, which were hampering smooth working of the Committee still remained unresolved. Under the circumstances the Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources submitted his resignation to the President / Prime Minister of Pakistan on 5th July 2004. In the resignation, the Chairman mentioned that it was being submitted due to personal reasons.

4.9 On 7th July 2004, the Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources received telephonic call from the President’s and Prime Minister’s Secretariats, and he was also called for a meeting in the President’s house. After discussions, the President’s Secretariat issued a letter that the resignation tendered by the Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources may be treated as withdrawn. Directives were also issued from the President’s Secretariat on 16th July 2004, and from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on 17th July 2004, to the effect that the Planning and Development Division should make presentation to the Technical Committee and that the genuine problems of the Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources should be resolved accordingly.

4.10 In pursuance of the directives issued by the President’s Secretariat and Prime Minister’s Secretariat, the concerned agencies initiated necessary action for resolving the problems being faced by the Technical Committee. During the period, while action was being taken on the directives of President’s and Prime Minister’s Secretariats, the Chairman, Technical Committee was forced by circumstances to proceed on leave from 9th July to 15th August 2004, due to serious illness, hospitalization and subsequent death of his wife.

4.11 The Planning and Development Division agreed to make the presentation to the Technical Committee, in response to the directives of the President’s and Prime Minister’s Secretariats. The second meeting of the Technical Committee on Water Resources was thereafter re-fixed on 4th September 2004, for presentations and consideration of TOR-4(a) “Determination of water availability for future reservoirs and irrigation schemes.”

4.12 The presentations on the TORs and their consideration were continued in the subsequent meetings of the Technical Committee on Water Resources held on the dates given below:-

i. Third meeting on 27th and 28th September 2004.

ii. Fourth meeting on 13th and 14th October 2004.

iii. Fifth meeting held from 22nd to 27th November 2004.

iv. Sixth meeting from 20th to 22nd December 2004.

v. Seventh meeting from 11th to 13th January 2005.

vi. Eighth meeting from 1st to 3rd February 2005.

The details of the matters discussed in all the eight meetings of the Technical Committee are given in (Annexure I-5).

4.13 The proceedings of all the eight meetings of Technical Committee are placed in the Document Box. The copies of the documents provided during the meetings on each TOR, i.e. copies of presentations, written comments, rejoinders etc are also placed in the Document Box.

5. Meetings of Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources

5.1 The Chairman, Technical Committee on Water Resources (TCWR) attended the meetings of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources (PCWR), on the invitation of the Chairman, PCWR. However, some members of the Technical Committee objected to the participation of Chairman, Technical Committee in the meetings of the Parliamentary Committee.

5.2 During the proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee, the Chairman and members of the Parliamentary Committee and representatives of provinces attending the meetings of the Parliamentary Committee requested the Chairman, Technical Committee to start consideration of TOR relating to Water Availability, being important on priority basis, which was agreed by the Chairman, Technical Committee.

5.3 The report of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources has since been submitted to Government. However, a copy of the report has not been supplied to the Chairman, Technical Committee in spite of personal requests. It would have been helpful to the Technical Committee, if a copy of the report was made available.

6. Studies of river basins and reservoirs in other countries.

6.1 During discussions in the meetings of the Technical Committee on Water Resources, some of the members frequently mentioned the examples of other countries particularly USA, Egypt, China and Australia, regarding the storage reservoirs built in those countries. In response to this, the Chairman, Technical Committee observed that it would be appropriate to have a detailed study of some of the river basins in other countries properly evaluate those models so as to provide guidance for planning and management of water resources in Pakistan. He observed that without knowing the important aspects of water resource planning and management in contemporary world, we are like a frog in a well. The Chairman suggested that a visit to some of the countries mentioned by the members could be useful. However, some of the members of the Technical Committee, who themselves had given examples of other countries, during the deliberations of the Technical Committee, vehemently opposed this idea because they felt it will delay the report of Technical Committee. Under the circumstances, the Chairman did not deem it appropriate to follow up this proposal.

(To be continued)

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