Monday June 27, 2022

Punjab asks Irsa to increase its water share

By Our Correspondent
May 10, 2022

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Monday formally asked the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) to increase its water share as per provisions of the Water Apportionment Accord 1991.

In a formal note, Punjab demanded compensation for deficiency in water from the Indus Zone, which has been witnessing surplus flows for the last week. “We are currently facing deficit of about 30,000 cusecs in river supplies against demand. As the flows of the Jhelum and Chenab Rivers have seen a considerable drop for quite some time and there has been a significant surge in demand amid severe heatwave, especially in the south, an immediate upward revision in the water quota of Punjab is the need of the hour,” an official said.

Keeping in view the rapidly-evolving situation, the official said they have written a letter to the water regulator for opening the Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal and the Taunsa-Punjnad Link Canal to ward off scarcity of water at Bahawalpur and Punjnad.

An official of the Provincial Irrigation Department lamented that the Irsa is presently giving priority to releasing greater quantity of water to the Sindh province at the cost of Punjab’s farmers, which is not acceptable.

According to reports, Punjab is presently facing extreme canal water shortage of up to 79 per cent over planned canal quotas. The cotton sowing in many areas in south Punjab is three to four weeks behind the schedule due to an abnormal drop in canal water. Despite improvement in the Indus and Kabul Rivers, it is claimed that water is not being supplied to south Punjab canals, further exacerbating scarcity of water in the parched fields.