ISLAMABAD - To remove the concerns of provinces and give recommendations regarding the fair distribution of water, a committee, constituted by NA committee on water resources, will start measurement of water flows at Sukkur tomorrow (Saturday).

After two days of hot discussions, the NA committee on water resources has reached the conclusion that human efforts cannot mitigate the water crises. The committee that met under Nawab Yousaf Talpur has constituted a committee comprising of four MNAs from Punjab and Sindh, Joint Secretary Ministry of Water Resources Mehr Ali Shah, and representatives of IRSA. The meeting was attended by the Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Sindh’s Minister for Irrigation Jam Khan Shoro and other officials. Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah Thursday requested the Punjab government to provide up to 300 cusecs additional water to drought-hit Cholistan areas from its share.

This committee will gauge the water inflows and outflow positions of Guddu and Sukkur Barrages and their subsidiary canals on Saturday while the committee is also tasked to give recommendations regarding fair distribution of water among the provinces. Indus River System Authority (IRSA), briefing the committee, presented data on the water shortages and said that the country is currently facing an acute water shortage of 38pc against the projected shortage of 22pc while Sindh and Punjab are facing a severe shortage of water for the cultivation of Kharif crops.

Committee constituted to remove concerns of provinces and give recommendations regarding fair distribution of water

According to IRSA, the inflows of the Indus from 1 to 30 April at Tarbela were 13pc less 1.831 MAF from the expected flows of 2.102 MAF, whereas the inflows of the Kabul had declined by 46pc, Mangla by 44pc, and the Chenab by 48pc.

IRSA informed that the actual inflows during this period were recorded at 5.350 MAF as compared to the projected 8.590 MAF, showing a shortage of 38pc. It was further informed that the countrywide rainfall in April 2022 was 74pc below normal and was ranked as the second driest month since 1961. The rainfall in April remained below normal all over the country. Punjab received 89pc, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 79pc, Balochistan 79pc, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) 56pc, and GB 51pc.

Responding to a point of order in the NA session raised by several members of National Assembly about shortage of water in Sindh and Punjab provinces, Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said that the country is facing water shortage problem and tail areas of Sindh and Punjab are among the more sufferers. He said that the water shortage situation would improve by June 15.