By DR ABDUL QADEER MEMON, Naushahro Feroze
THE Sindh government should seriously explore the possibility of building alternative barrages to save the agricultural sector of the province.
Sindh had the best irrigation system with three barrages, but due to inattention of the authorities concerned it had fallen prey to degradation.
The Irsa team had warned that a delta had been created in the Sukkur barrage’s water storage area which was threatening its structure.
The Sukkur barrage is 85 years old and used to feed eight million acres through its seven major canals. But it is in bad shape now for the past many years. The condition of Kotri and Guddu barrages is even worse.
The British used to determine the flow of water with tail gauges. However, today there is no concept for such gauges in the irrigation department.
The Sukkur barrage often faces different technical issues. The barrage would outlive its utility, so the government should start planning accordingly to protect agriculture.
During floods, its water discharges downstream Sukkur couldn’t flow under the Larkana-Khairpur and Dadu-Moro bridges. Alternative barrages have already been built in Punjab.
It seems as if the Sindh governement is waiting for the destruction of our agricultural sector. The government should explore the option of building an alternative to the Sukkur barrage.
Such barrages are necessary to save Sindh’s agriculture. Honest and hard-working engineers of the federal, Sindh and Punjab governments should be hired for the process.