Following the decision of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) to supply 32% water to Punjab and Sindh, the Chief Engineer of Guddu Barrage has advised the farmers not to sow paddy in May and June because the barrage is facing ‘the worst water shortage in 60 years.
According to the report, IRSA said, farmers can set up nurseries in July as long as water flow is expected to improve.
Water shortage continues in all the three barrages of Sindh but the situation is more serious after the shortage of 50.44 in Kotri Barrage.
Three barrages in Sindh are facing a 36.94% water shortage till yesterday which is causing difficulties for the cotton crop and water may be available for early Kharif.
Zahid Junejo, a Sindh member of IRSA, said everyone was hopeful that the water situation would improve in view of rising temperatures in the upper areas, which could lead to an improvement in water flow.
“Currently, however, where cotton is grown or paddy nurseries are set up, water shortages could affect crops,” he said.
According to Zahid Junejo, as far as water distribution is concerned, Sindh has always attached importance to the point: “We should be provided water as per the 1991 water-sharing agreement. We do not accept the three-tier formula which is the root of the dispute.”
“The situation is so bad that people are crying for drinking water. Irrigation is a long way off,” he said.
He said, “We check the flow of water at every place with the consent of Sindh and Punjab, it is now possible to form a committee which will be entrusted with the task of monitoring water discharge.”
Zahid Junejo rejected the claims of Irsa and Punjab that the flow of Kotri was a ‘waste of water’.
He said that last year the permissible loss was 35% but it was revised to 30% which is once again causing loss to Sindh.
He said that this was the reason why Sindh was of the view that transit losses between Taunsa and Guddu were unusually high.
Zahid Junejo said that the Indus River reaches Guddu Barrage and as a result, the distance of 100 miles becomes 300 miles.
He claimed that out of the ongoing flow of water for Sindh, about 50,000 acres of land is being irrigated in the river channel of Punjab.