The Ministry of Water Resources has held out assurance to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources that the talks, underway with the Chinese authorities on the safety and security of Chinese workers engaged in Dasu Hydropower Projet, will yield results and the work halted in July 2021 in the wake of a terrorist attack will resume soon.
The National Assembly panel meeting, chaired by Nawab Yousuf Talpur on Thursday, also discussed the issue of low water supply to Punjab.
It is to note that the work on Dasu Hydropower Project could not be resumed despite the government of Pakistan’s assurances to Chinese authorities regarding the security of Chinese workers. However, the Ministry of Water Resources officials were confident that the work would soon be resumed as talks were underway with the Chinese authorities.
“The main civil work has been closed since the attack on Chinese engineers in July,” said the officials.
Regarding a low release of water to Punjab, Chairman Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Saif Anjum, briefed the committee on water shortage. He said that the water supply in the Chashma Right Bank Canal was 34% down.
Chairman WAPDA, Lt. Gen. Muzammil Hussain, said the release of water was the job of IRSA, as it controlled it. “We release as much water as we are told to release,” said Chairman WAPDA.
Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IRSA said there were reasons for water scarcity. “The main canal needs cleaning and water is stolen. After 80 miles the Punjab border starts, so there are losses, which cannot be controlled,” he said.
Joint Secretary Water Resources informed the committee that Punjab wanted to take its share of the Chashma Right Bank Canal immediately and the agreement regarding this was almost complete. The committee directed implementing the CCI decision on control of the Chashma Right Bank Canal.
The Chairman IRSA presented the statistics of water supply in Kharif season to the provinces. He said IRSA distributed water to all provinces according to the constitutional water share as per the 1991 water accord.
Raising an objection to the statistics shared by Chairman IRSA, Sindh Irrigation member said Sindh was facing 4% more shortage than Punjab. He said that IRSA was not distributing water as per the IRSA Act. In Kharif, Guddu Barrage faced a 35% shortfall and Kotri faced a 60% shortfall. He urged IRSA to distribute water as per the formula determined by the 1991 accord.
Source: Pro Pakistani