Where do we seek justice for destruction of Indus Delta?

by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

.. Indus Delta Development Program (DDP) has several articles on how Sindh’s delta region is getting destroyed systematically by the greediness of one upper riparian province. The article “The green postures of Indus Delta are turning into desert and lifeless” traces the prosperity of this area from Kalhora rule to the destructive transformation of this area since 1947. During Kalhora era, 170 Million Acre Feet (MAF) of water used to flow into the delta compared to 5-6 MAF that is being allowed now.

An article published in the Daily news on April 10, 2010 says “… Indus delta was dying and at least 35 MAF water flow was required downstream Kotri on permanent basis for its restoration, otherwise the delta would completely vanish and the sea would erode the coastal land”.

The magazine article says that where as twenty years ago delta area consisted of 262,000 hectares of land but it has now been reduced to 70,000 hectares. The article further says that according to the report issued in 2002 by Pakistan Revenue Board, 33% of delta region was under sea water. The article also says that from total 3,769,078 acres of land in Badin and Thatto districts of Sindh, 1,200,000 acres of land has already fallen victim to sea water.

Another article in the DDP magazine is titled “Sorrows of destroying Villages of Delta”. This article describes the observations of a NGO inspection team that recently visited several villages in the delta region. The team found a village that had 28 houses but it was completely empty. Upon further inquiries in the neighboring area, the team learnt that not only from that village, but inhabitants from several other villages in the area had migrated to cities and towns of Sindh in search of their livelihood due to the lack of river water for their lands and their homes.

The last page of the article makes a heart-felt appeal by saying the most beautiful area of Sindh is slowly dying. The economic conditions of local people have been destroyed and even the unique delta culture is dying. One by one, lakes and forests are disappearing. The educational and health care facilities in the area are receiving less and less attention. The industrial discharge from sugar mills and other industrial discharge are taking a huge toll of this area pushing it more and more towards its complete destruction. The article then asks a question from its readers “Where do we seek justice for destruction of Indus Delta?”

Are we able to answer this question?

I am not sure if there is a solution in sight for the poor people of Indus delta other than if the people of Punjab demand their government to allow 35 MAF of water beyond Kotri barrage.

May I suggest that a specific resolution on the plight of the Indus Delta people be added to the draft of SANA resolutions. The resolution should contain a direct appeal to the people of Punjab for their help on bringing about pressure on their government.

June 19, 2010

2 thoughts on “Where do we seek justice for destruction of Indus Delta?”

  1. ..Government of Punjab has chronically failed in protecting the rights of people. Which is evident from the fact that it has not made any efforts for the while Govt of Sindh. If Punjab govt can not protect the rights of people living alongside river Indus,it will BE better to separate out those areas from Punjab,so that those people can protect their rights themselves. From NFC award it is evident that Punjab Govt has sacrificed the rights of people just for pleasing those who always hate punjab. Moreover Punjab Govt has not raised any concern about the suffering of people of Punjab in Baluchistan,Karachi and Sind. Thar coal project will have adverse effects on each and every living organism,atmosphere,enviroment in Punjab but Punjab Govt foolish leaders has not shown any concern about that project.
    Due to incompetent Punjab Government , situation has so much deteriorated. India is diverting water towards state of Rajhastan and Gujrat,where land is much more thirsty as compared to fishes of the sea.
    arabian sea is eating up the agricultural land in Thatta & Badin districts, huge deposits of saline salts are present in Thatta and most of salts factories are using that salt as raw materials and arid like Cholistan and Thar and has just 3% forest on its land
    It is problem of salinity such as in upper sindh where rice crop is cultivated for which extra water is used for irrigation,these areas are suffering from problem of salinity…

    India is having large number of rivers and is six times larger than Pakistan. Water for irrigation near sea and not using that water for IRRIGATION in other parts of the country where there is abundance of arid land due to non availability of water is a … damage sea water can cause to the land of Thatta which has already huge mines of salts and is the source salt for salt factories, follwing is the profile of Company.
    OUR SALT FIELDS/MINES
    AL-AMIN SALT REFINERY IS HAVING THEIR OWN 550 ACRES OF LAKE SALT MINES APPROX. IN THE DISTRICT OF THARPARKER AND DHABEJI, DISTRICT THATTA. OUR SALT IS HARVESTED FROM NATURALLY OCCURRING SALT LAKES WITH THE PRODUCTION OUT PUT IS 40,000 TONES PER DAY APPROX. OUR RAW SALT HARVESTING TECHNOLOGY IS TOTALLY EQUIPPED WITH MINING TECHNOLOGIES MACHINE TO GUARANTEE THE RAW SALT QUALITY AND BETWEEN 94-97% PURITY. MOST OF OUR SALT FIELDS ARE WELL CONNECTED WITH HIGHWAYS. OUR RAW SALT IS MANUFACTURED AND PROCESSED TO CERTAIN PROCEDURES AND FINALLY TRANSPORTED THROUGH COMPANY OWNED VEHICLES TO OUR REFINERY PLANTS IN KARACHI.
    It is the example of just one factory which is announcing that
    in Thatta Their mine OUT PUT IS 40,000 TONES PER DAY, huge deposits of natural salt mines…
    ..better to use water of Indus in the desert of Tharparkar and land between Karachi and Hyderabad,and further beyond Karachi and coastal areas of Makran,but also in state of Rajhastan and Gujrat of India but wastage in the sea or in the salt mines of Thatta is not acceptable to any sensible person or human in any condition.
    All the technical experts in WAPDA are fools due to whom there is acute shortage of water and electricity in the country inspite of huge resources available,if we can not use these resources and just waste them then it will be better to give these resources to India.
    People of Thatta/badin should be given as much water as required for cultivation…
    It is .. to note that present Government is advocating for Thar Coal Project…
    We are not only wasting our river water but we are also wasting millions of gallons of water in daily basis….and in a city like Karachi all this water is dumped to Arabian sea so we need to check this water and try to purifying it and use it for agricultural purposes at least then by that we can also save millions of gallon of water got wasted in our cities and also in our industries…

  2. “people of Punjab…”

    Sir,Pakistan is not a true democracy.Over here the government does not do what the common people ask but what it needs to survive,along with pampering th elite…
    INDIA WITHOLDING OF WATER! THE SEVERAL MAF OF WATER INDIA IS STEALING! INSTEAD

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