Independent Monitoring Demanded Of Barrages In Punjab, Sindh
The Punjab Irrigation Department has demanded independent monitoring of barrages in Punjab and Sindh to measure water flow.
According to the reports, the department has appealed to the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) to control the damage caused by the Kotri Barrage.
In a letter to IRSA, the Irrigation Department requested that immediate steps be taken to control the extraordinary damage between the Taunsa and Kotri barrages so that the water availability situation in the country does not deteriorate further.
The Irrigation Department demanded independent monitoring of the falling barrages in both the provinces so as to eliminate the ‘reporting lapses’ in the measurement of water discharged from the barrages in Sindh.
At its April 8 meeting, Irsa’s advisory committee indicated a 10% water shortage.
However, the actual availability of water was much lower than expected as the flow of the Indus River at Tarbela, Nowshera in Kabul and Chenab was reduced by 21, 29 and 33 per cent respectively.
The letter lamented that Irsa was depleting the Mangla reservoir to meet the provincial requirements, which led to the level of the Mangla reservoir reaching RL 1,111.70 on May 22 as against the projected level of 1,1172.36.
This indicates that it will not be possible to replenish the Mangla reservoir during this Kharif period.
It said that the loss of water supply from Taunsa to Kotri is 39 per cent more than 30 per cent.
The loss between Taunsa and Kotri so far this season is equivalent to 1.2 MAF, which is currently double the combined storage of both Tarbela and Mangla deposits.
According to records, the average loss in the Indus Zone was only 11% between 1977 and 1999, which increased to 21% between 2000 and 2020.
The letter said the record also showed that the increase in losses was due to misreporting of discharges from Sindh barrages.
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