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Sindh is experiencing its greatest lack of water in 60 years

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INDUS River downstream Kotri is seen almost dry on Saturday.—PPI
INDUS River downstream Kotri is seen almost dry on Saturday. — PPI

The Guddu Barrage Chief Engineer recommended that farmers not go for paddy seeding in May and June since the dam has “several water deficit in 60 years.” HYDERABAD: As a result of the Indus River System Authority’s decision Saturday to apply 32 square metres in Punjab and Sindh.

He suggested that in July producers might prepare for nurseries and anticipate better water flows.

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In view of the existing shortage of water in three Sindh Dams, his suggestion is distributed via the media. The Kotri Dam is the largest of the three, namely 50.44 pc. The Kotri Dam.

The three dams of Sindh have now been filled with a deficiency of 36.94 % water (May 29), undermining the production of cotton in places in which the water for the early Kharif is provided.

Growers said they will not move to paddy seed until July

Zahid Junejo, a member of Irsa’s Sindh, says everyone expects to improve the water issue since the temperature increases in the highest reaches which can contribute to better water circulation. “All the places where cotton is being cultivated or paddy nurseries are being constructed are now afflicted by a long-term water constraint,” he said.

In the case of water distribution, according to Mr. Junejo, Sindh always made one point. “Give us water in accordance with the 1991 Water Allocation Agreement. We don’t accept a bone of contention three-tier model,” he said.

He disagrees with Punjab, which accuses Sindh of supplying fudged numbers. He claims that the situation has deteriorated to the point that people are begging for drinking water, much alone irrigation.

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“We monitor water flow at every location. With the agreement of Sindh and Punjab, the formation of a committee is now likely. It would be tasked with monitoring water releases via independent inspectors,” he explains. He rejects Irsa and Punjab’s accusations that Kotri downstream flows constitute a “waste of water.”

“People live downstream Kotri, and their water needs are met,” he adds, adding that calling it “wastage” is just not accurate. According to Mr Junejo, the Kotri Barrage chief engineer has reacted to a correspondence dated April 18 from Irsa’s director operations on his claim on escapages downstream Kotri, and the chief engineer’s response is self-explanatory.

“Allowable losses were 35 percent last year, but they have been reduced to 30 percent, resulting in another loss for Sindh. That is why Sindh claims that transit losses between Taunsa and Guddu are unusually large, and explains why slopes are not steeper and temperatures stay unusually high.

“The Indus River reaches Guddu in a braided form and meanders, resulting in a 100-mile journey becoming a 300-mile one,” he explains.

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Mr Junejo asserts that the water flows provided for Sindh irrigate around 50,000 acres of agriculture in Punjab’s riverine territory.

He laments that “when we [Irsa] determined by 3-1 at its May 24 meeting that the Taunsa-Panjnad connection canal should not be opened, it was opened by Punjab to the great detriment of Sindh, whose farmers have missed a significant amount of early sowing of Kharif crops.”

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