Treasury, Opposition unite in lambasting IRSA

KARACHI - The legislators from both treasury and opposition in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday complained about shortage of water and accused Indus River System Authority (IRSA) of not implementing the 1991 Water Accord during the period of water shortage and demanded the house to raise voice against the discriminatory attitude of the water distribution authority. PPP legislator Dr Sikandar Mahendaro, speaking on a point of order, alleged that 1.6 million hectare of cultivable land in Sindh has been rendered infertile due to unjustified water distribution by IRSA while at the same time in Punjab cultivable land has been gradually increased by 3.9 million hectare due to availability of water. Elaborating his point of view, Dr Mahendaro claimed that in 1945 Sindh was getting 50 MAF water while united Punjab was getting 48 MAF water. However under 1991 Water Accord, Sindh was granted 48 MAF water which was not provided to the province to-date. Due to this reason Sindh has suffered increasing scarcity of water, he added. He urged the house to raise voice against the discriminatory attitude of IRSA and for the restoration of the quantum of water to Sindh allotted under the 1991 Water Apportionment Accord. Endorsing point of order of Dr Mahendaro, PPPs Humera Alwani said that IRSA has been meting out injustice to Sindh by allowing water distribution under historical arrangement made by a ministerial committee, instead of the 1991 Water Accord. She said that people of Sindh would not accept such kind of discriminatory distribution. She demanded that the provincial legislature should pass a resolution against the distribution of water under historical arrangement. Anwar Maher of the PPP said that due to continued water shortage, Sindh could face another shortage of wheat/ flour in coming days. Opposition leader, Jam Madad Ali demanded the provincial government to make sugar mills owners bound for starting crushing season on scheduled time. Syed Bachal Shah, another PPP member drew attention towards alarming increase in salinity and demanded the government to take steps for getting all the tube wells operational. Najamuddin Abro, yet another ruling PPP also presented a gloomy picture of the agriculture in Sindh and said that growers even could not get their invested amount from their land. He demanded the chair should reserve full one day for discussing agriculture problems. Opposition PML-Q legislator, Shaheryar Maher criticised the PPP government for not taking the opposition, as well as people of the Sindh into confidence while taking important decisions. Nuzhat Pathan of PML-Q criticized increase in the tariff of electricity and continuous and an unending load shedding of power. She held bureaucracy responsible for such decisions, saying that it was giving bad name to the government. Abdul Razzaque Rahimoon of the PML-Q complained of political victimization in his constituency. He said that earlier he himself was arrested in a fake case and now his brother had been implicated in a fake FIR. Sindh Law Minister, Ayaz Soomro strongly rejected allegations of political victimization, and said that the PPP did not believe in such tactics. He however assured the Oppositions member that the government would order an impartial inquiry into the cases filed against him and his brother. The law minister also appealed to the Opposition members to avoid of unnecessary criticism and appreciate the governments positive steps. The Speaker announced that Sindh Governor has given assent to the Sindh Finance Bill, 2009 and the Sindh Institute of Medical Science Karachi Bill, 2009. Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro laid the Sindh Ordinance No-1of 2009 - the Sindh Public Private Partnership Ordinance, 2009. The law minister introduced government Bill No-13 of 2009-The Larkana Development Authority (Revival and Amending) Bill, 2009. The introduction of three other bills was deferred. The house nominated Abdul Moeed of MQM and Mohsin Shah Bukhari of PPP on the panel of Pakistan Railways Advisory Committee Karachi. The house, which set in motion by Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza more than half an hour delay, carried question and answer session of agriculture department, after which the house was adjourned till Friday morning.

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