The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources in its meeting held on Thursday at Parliament House, discussed in detail water distribution issues amongst provinces, non-payment of dues to contractors and extension of Pat Feeder Canal Project. Progress on construction of small dams in Balochistan was also discussed.
Chaired by Senator Muhammad Yousaf Badini, the meeting was attended by Senator Brig, (R) John Kenneth Williams, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Walid Iqbal and senior officers from the Ministry of Water Resources, Planning Division, IRSA along with all concerned.
The meeting commenced with a briefing on issues regarding distribution amongst provinces as per the Water Apportionment Accord 1991. The Committee was informed that the record of actual average system uses for the period 1977-82, would form the guideline for developing a future regulation pattern. These ten daily uses would be adjusted pro-rata to correspond to the indicated seasonal allocations for the different canal systems and would form the basis for sharing shortages and surpluses on all Pakistan basis. The Mechanism of distribution entails estimation of water available before the crop, approval of technical/advisory committee as per Water Apportionment Accord 1991 and criteria for reservoirs operation. Provinces prepare their canal withdrawal plans as per their allocated shares. The provinces place their indents on 5 daily to 10 daily basis to IRSA and water is released by WAPDA on IRSA’s Regulation Message. Provinces supply their Water Account on 10 daily basis and statements are reviewed and circulated to all the provinces by IRSA for reconciliation and transparency. The Committee enquired about the telemetry system that is to be installed to check water flows. The Committee recommended until this process is completed, water inspectors be deputed at distributions points to keep a check on any irregularities that may occur. The Committee was also informed that Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtukhawa are exempted from water shortages and that development of Karez and Dams must be expedited to conserve water in these two provinces.
While discussing the Extension of Pat Feeder Canal Project and issues regarding non-payment of dues to contractors the Committee questioned the need of a third party in the project. It directed Government of Balochistan, Irrigation Department to submit all documentation including court orders and the NDC Report. It instructed that all third party claims must be settled within a week so that contractors do not suffer.
While being briefed about the progress on the construction of small dams in Balochistan the Committee asserted that to expedite the process a letter will be sent to Secretary Irrigation. Relevant officers will be summoned in the next meeting.