Indus river : No one bothers about water problem: Abbasi

By Mohammad Hussain Khan

HYDERABAD, Nov 7: Eminent water expert and former chairman of the Technical Committee on Water Resources A.N.G Abbasi has said his report on water should be buried once and for all as no one seems to be ready to implement it.

He was speaking at an interactive session on “Pakistan’s Water Sector Strategy and Alternative strategy to Resolve Critical Water Issues” organised by Shirkat Gah in collaboration with Pakistan Network of River, Dam and People (PNRDP) at the Sindhi Language Authority auditorium.

Mr Abbasi said Pakistan was counted among the countries facing shortage of water and the issue dated back to the Indus Water Treaty when three rivers were given away to India.

He said that important issues had been made terms of reference of the technical committee and he had dwelt at length on each of them.

He expressed dissatisfaction over the water management and operation of canals besides the hydraulic conditions, their operations and distribution.

“I think those in powers don’t value the importance of water and we don’t realise our past mistakes as well,” he said.

He said: “We are adamant that these mistakes should not be rectified and I don’t see any plans of moving ahead in the right direction.”

He said that people had pinned hopes that the PPP would realise its responsibilities to redress their grievances, but the result was for everyone to see.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Minister for Irrigation Syed Murad Ali Shah said distribution of water by the Indus River System Authority among provinces on the basis of three-tier formula had no legal sanction, therefore it was illegal.

He ruled out any new water accord in the presence of 1991 Water Apportionment Accord for irrigation water’s distribution in the country and pledged that the report of A.N.Abbasi on water resources would be implemented.

He said that the water accord was by and large implemented till 1999. But, he said, Irsa had no legal authority to distribute water on the basis of three-tier or any other formula, adding that the only approved formula available with Irsa is 1991’s accord.

He said: “We have to demand our rights but we can’t stifle the voice of Punjab Assembly as far water issue is concerned.”

“It is often Sindh versus the rest of provinces on the issue of water as even Balochistan accuses us of water theft. It is because of follies of our own Sindhi people. I won’t name them,” he said.

The minister said that he did not believe that any new accord would be workable to get water more than what was enshrined in the 91 accord.

He said that when water was stored in Mangla then Sindh did not had water in Kharif season while it was denied water from Jehlum river.

He said that the federal government was approached to control Irsa on operation of Taunsa-Panjnad and Chashma-Jhelum link canals.

He said that as long as the PPP government was there, Kalabagh Dam would not be built, adding that it were some Sindhi-speaking people who had accorded approval to greater Thal canal.

“Still we are pursuing this issue, though we have not achieved success because one province and vested quarters have their interest in it,” he remarked.

He emphasised the need for water conservation and said a Rs62 billion programme had been taken in hand to line 509 water channels and out of them work on 107 had started.

He said that drip irrigation system had some negative aspects.

He said that the president had called for treating saline water of the Right Bank Outfall Drain and consultants had submitted a preliminary report on the issue.

He said that from Hamal Lake to Manchhar Lake half a dozen treatment plants would be set up to treat saline water for irrigation and a desalination plant would be set up in periphery of Manchhar Lake to make it drinkable.

“I will not give my consent unless I am satisfied as far as Manchhar lake’s rehabilitation is concerned. I have told them to provide alternate source of water through Rice canal or Indus for filling Manchhar,” he said.

He said that factories would be asked not to dispose of their untreated water into Indus, failing which they would not be allowed to release effluent in Indus.

He deplored the state of irrigation department and said that officials working there only know how to write account books.

Sindh Water Committee secretary Nazeer Memon, Sindh Democratic Forum’s Abrar Kazi and Zulfikar Halepoto and Sindh Abadgar Board’s Bashir Nizamani also spoke on the occasion.

Sunday, 08 Nov, 2009

Courtesy: Daily Dawn <<Read more

2 thoughts on “Indus river : No one bothers about water problem: Abbasi”

  1. Thar coal
    THE POST, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Every patriotic person may be pained to read the remarks of one writer from Punjab namely M. Akram Khan Niazi who in his article available on various blog sites of internet, showed his hatred against gigantic Thar coal deposits in Sindh by calling it “dirt” versus site of proposed Kalabagh dam in Punjab.

    Mr Niazi needs to know in today’s world, “Oil” and “Coal” deposits are called “Black Gold” and their importance is increasing day after day in view of energy crisis facing the world. The energy generation from coal is about 45 percent whereas hydel power generation is nearly 10 per cent throughout the world. In America there are about 600 industries based on coal functioning on surface level whereas the biggest project based on coal is in South Africa for which the IMF/World Bank has recently approved loan and also for another similar project in Gujarat (India).

    Therefore, Mr Niazi’s hatred against the power generating from Thar coal deposits in Sindh, is totally unjustified. Further, if Mr Niazi is so worried about the environmental condition in Pakistan, he should have raised his voice against the unnatural sad demise of Indus delta – the sixth largest in the world and also acute drinking water problem currently facing 2.7 millions people residing in area
    between Kotri and Arabian Sea in Sindh because Punjab is not allowing to release 10MAF water downstream Kotri as envisaged in “Water Accord – 1991” after 19 years have passed on signing the Accord.

    As well as big dams like Kalabagh dam, are concerned, there is considerable trend throughout the world to discourage building of such dams due to serious environmental hazards. In this connection,

    1500 dams have been dismantled in various countries of the world including USA, Spain, Thailand, India etc on the being environmental hazards.

  2. NWFP and Sindh is mainly responsible for power shortage mayhem and the resultant chaos in the society due to tormenting blackouts and long power outrages.
    Importance of Electricity Versus Wastage of Water for Feudals.
    • Children weeps in the night due to high temperature and mosquitoes bite due to outage of electricity,
    • Students can not study in night due to outage of electricity.
    • Industry can not run without electricity.
    • Machinery can not run without electricity.
    • Surgeons can not operate without electricity.
    • A patient on life machine can not survive without electricity.
    • Even in agriculture can not use Tubewell without electricity.
    • Fertilizer can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Pesticide can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Sugar Mills,Cotton Mills,Flour Mills,Rice Mills can not run without electricity.
    Above points clearly indicates that use of water for generation of electricity is 1000 times better than wastage of water on land or in sea for few feudals, because water wasted in land or sea is not recoverable but water use for generation of electricity in Kalabagh Dam will be available for use for agriculture and Industry as it was suitable before generation of electricity and there will be no wastage of water.

    Sindh,Balochistan and Frontier are against Kalabagh
    because as per Sindh LOGIC Thar Coal is better than Kalabagh …
    And as per Balouchistan Vision GAS and coal extracted from Balouchistan are one of the most clean source of energy and Kalabagh will pollute air and land resouces and people will drown in Kalabagh and no one is dying in the coal caves of Balochistan.
    And as per Frontier wisdom Royalty of Tarballa is so important that Pakistan can be broken for that not good looking as it is in Punjab.
    All provinces want Provincial autonomy and Punjab should open or close its canals , IIRIGATE ITS LAND other provinces Because it is necessary for unity and prosperity of Pakistan as when there will be no agriculture,no electricity and no water then Pakistan will be more united and more prosperous.

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