by: Badar Jatoi, Canada.
Courtesy: The Statesman, 25th August 2009
This is apropos of federal government’s decision reported in the media that Islamabad will be provided water from River Indus as the existing sources failed to meet the demand of Capital. While disclosing details before the parliament the minister of state said that since the present supplies of some 60 million gallons per day — from sources like Simly dam (30 million gallons) and Khanpur dam (10 million gallons) and 180 tube wells — were not enough, therefore a project to bring water from the Indus would ensure “uninterrupted” supplies to the capital. The minister has however failed to disclose the amount of additional water needed to meet the requirement of Capital. Obviously whatever the need be at present it must be very substantial and with the passage of time will grow manifold.
Although the twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi receive highest quantity of rainfall in the entire country which if preserved can be more than sufficient to meet the future requirement of both the cities. However government has chosen to bring water from Indus which obviously will harm the interest of lower riparian regions.
I suggest that before taking decision to draw water from Indus the federal government must take Sindh into confidence which will be the ultimate sufferer in case there is any shortage in Indus basin system. Besides, there is also in existence water accord of 1991 whose terms are yet to be implemented in letter and spirit.