LARKANA  -  Sindh is already facing acute water shortage being at the tail-end, hence, the second phase of Greater Thal Canal project should not be allowed.

This was stated by ECNEC member and newly elected Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuhro at the ECNEC meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Federal Finance Minister Shoukat Tareen. Khuhro participated in the meeting through a video link from Larkana, said a statement.

The dispute in the meeting was vehemently opposed by the Sindh government for the Greater Canal Phase-II project, Khuhro categorically informed the meeting. Punjab walked out of the meeting. Khuhro presented Sindh’s stand in the meeting and said that the issue of water sharing under a three-tier formula and distribution of water among the provinces is pending with the Council of Common Interest (CCI), hence, Greater Thal Canal Phase-II project should be shelved till the decision of the CCI. He announced to take Sindh’s water shortage case to CCI under the three-tier formula. He asked that water scarcity is already faced then from where surplus water will come for Greater Thal Canal.

Khuhro informed that meeting that WAPDA started work on Greater Thar Canal Phase-II in 2001 without NOC of IRSA and approval of ECNEC for which Sindh had also expressed its serious reservations at that time about the project and availability of water.

The Greater Canal Phase-II project is a serious matter, so without removing concerns of Sindh, this project must be postponed or else a sense of deprivation will increase among the people of Sindh, hence this issue may be sent to CCI.

He said that if the Sindh province’s concerns were not resolved, adding the Asian Development Bank will be contacted for not funding the project. Nisar further said that the Sindh Assembly passed the resolution for formation of Pakistan and the same Sindh Assembly also adopted a resolution against the Greater Thal Canal so the Sindh Assembly resolution against the Greater Thal Canal cannot be ignored.  The federal government acknowledged the shortage of water in the ECNEC meeting, and Federal Minister Shaukat Tareen gave the ruling to take three-tier formula to CCI along with installation of telemetry system for proper water monitoring and asked Punjab to use water of its share only. Tareen said on the occasion that due to water scarcity, Sindh would suffer for being at the tail-end hence there should be a telemetry system.