CM Sindh urges provinces to share water for Karachi like Islamabad
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday said that the Sindh government had allowed water for twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi subject to the condition that Karachi would also be given additional 1200 cusecs water for domestic use.
The chief minister presiding over a preparatory meeting for the Council of Common Interest (CCI) to be held on April 28, said that water requirement should be shared by all the provinces since Karachi has accommodated people from all provinces.
He added that all provinces should share the requirement just like provincial governments carved out the share for Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Secretary Irrigation Syed Jamal Shah briefed the meeting that presently 1200 cusecs water was required for K-IV project in Karachi from the Indus River, which would reach to 1800 cusecs by 2020 and 2400 cusecs by 2025.
Federal govt should pay for gas supply to villages
Secretary Energy Agha Wasif said that there are 347 villages located within radius of five kilometers of gas producing fields, which the federal government said should be provided gas on provincial expenditure.
He said that total cost of the gas connection be Rs3591 million, out of which Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) would invest Rs747 million and the remaining amount of Rs2844 million would be borne by Sindh government.
CM Sindh reiterated that in pursuance of Supreme Court judgment and prime minister’s directives, the federal government should bear total cost of gas pipelines for villages located within five kilometers radius of gas producing fields.
He also said that the Sindh government would manage to provide gas to other villages which are within the district of gas producing fields.
Sindh, Balochistan water dispute
Secretary irrigation, referring to short water supplies in Pat Feeder and Khirthar canals, said that Balochistan’s claim is not justified as there is no legal provision for monetary compensation for short water supplied under the 1991 water accord.
CM Sindh expressed readiness to start third party monitoring with consensus of both provinces. He was also presented a report that 83 unauthorised outlets in Guddu Barrage divert water to Balochistan in addition to their share.
National Water Policy
Regarding the national water policy, Secretary Irrigation said that Ministry of Water and Power has revised the draft policy on December 2, 2016 and only two points of Sindh irrigation department have been incorporated.
CM Sindh said that the important points such as securing catchment area and its economy, preserving delta by providing sufficient supplies regularly, rain water disposal in plain areas where it could not be disposed or diverted should be included in the water policy.
He also suggested including strong administrative machinery to assist provincial irrigation departments for ensuring the rights of tail-enders.
“Water allocations sanctioned for the project have sanctity. These should not be changed,” he said calling for special `water courts’ if needed to be established.
Affluent from Balochistan and Punjab
CM Sindh said that the affluent coming from Balochistan and Punjab has destroyed lands in Qambar-Shahdadkot and Ghotki districts, and called for clear policy to not accept untreated affluent in Sindh.
“This may be put on the agenda that no untreated affluent would be accepted. Therefore, there should a clear policy that the affluent draining down in the gravity to Sindh be treated first.”
Fiscal Coordination Committee formed
The Sindh government established the fiscal coordination committee, which would provide a forum to highlight the unauthorised and arbitrary deductions made by Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).
The agenda of the CCI meeting includes matter pertaining to higher education and other similar bodies, formulation of National Flood Protection Plan IV, import of LNG, sixth population and housing census, National Forest Policy 2015.
The meeting would discuss amendments in Electric Power Act 1997, supply of gas to villages in five kilometer radius of gas producing fields, short supplies of water in Pat Feeder and Khirthar canals, allocation of 1200 cusecs (650.5 MGD) additional water for Karachi city (K-IV) project and others.