ISLAMABAD: Sindh got Rs8.44 billion and the Punjab, the biggest province population-wise, less than a billion rupees for water projects, The News has learnt. This makes the Punjab the most deprived among the four provinces in the placement of federal government funds for water-related projects, according to Wapda.
In an officially drawn comparison, Sindh is the top beneficiary in fetching the Centre’s financial support as it, alone, will clinch more than the combined share of the rest of three provinces. “Surprisingly, Sindh is to be given a sum nine times higher than the Punjab,” said an official while discussing the relative report. “Having one of the world’s most efficient canal networks, the Punjab requires heavy funding for a series of projects on canals and barrages.”
The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), responsible for executing water projects, has compared resource availability for the provinces in the just started fiscal year. The comparative study was presented by the authorityCommittee of Senate on Less Developed Areas. The News managed to obtain all relevant documents.
The Punjab is to get the lowest Rs955m with Sindh obtaining Rs8440m for water sector projects to be completed by June 30, 2013. Balochistan is the second biggest recipient with Rs5300m and Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa third with Rs2175m from the Centre.
The documents provide that the collective funding for the Punjab (Rs955m), Balochistan (Rs5300m) and KP (Rs2175m) stands at Rs8430m which is less than Sindh’s exclusive share of Rs8440m.
Rainee Canal (Rs2000m), Nai Gaj (Rs2000m), Darawat (Rs2000m), RBOD-I (Rs1000m), Effluent Treatment Plant (Rs400m) and Flood 2010 Damages and Rehab T/Well (Rs 1040) are the six projects of Sindh, the hometown of President Asif Ali Zardari and former Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar during the placement of funds.
In Punjab, three projects allocated with the funds are Ghabir (Rs500m), Greater Thal Canal (Rs300m) and Research Investigation and Monitoring (Rs155m). The Great Thal Canal is controversial although the federal government as well as the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) being the water regulator have approved it. The Sindh province has the most concerns regarding the project.
Balochistan’s projects are: Kachhi Canal (Rs2,400m), Naulong (Rs1,500m), Winder (Rs300m), Hingol (Rs50m), Pelar (Rs50m), RBOD-III (Rs1,000m). The KP schemes are: Gomal Zam (Rs1800m), CRBC Additional Works (Rs100m), CRBC (Left) (Rs100m), Daraban (Rs50m) and Flood Management Structures Tank (Rs75m).