Islamabad: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has criticized the PTI regime for creating acute water crisis through mismanagement, and called for the permanent closure of controversial Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal.
In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that IRSA’s sole mandate with regard to water is that it could only monitor the distribution of water as per Water Apportionment Accord.
IRSA can’t enforce its authority in any other form. “There is an acute water crisis in Sindh after Mangla Dam was filled beyond IRSA’s approved controversial formula. This overall situation has created up to a 27 percent water shortage in Sukkur Barrage and 44 percent shortage of water in Kotri Barrage,” he added.
He said that the sheer ineptitude of the PTI-led federal government has left the water supply from Guddu Barrage completely depleted, adding that the heavy rains last year had filled all dams but the sheer mismanagement by the Federal government under Imran Khan had caused the capacity of dams to be severely depleted.
The PPP Chairman warned of a severe famine-like situation developing in Sindh as a result of the PTI regimes policies that have converted lower Sindh into a desert, depriving Karachi, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin and Tharparkar of their rightful share of water. It was on record that it was only after the PPP had been consistently raising its voice and putting immense pressure, that the PTI government closed the illegally launched Taunsa Panjnad Link Canal, he added.
Bilawal said that if the water crisis in the lower parts of Sindh remained unresolved, it could lead to a famine-like situation, and people would protest against the unavailability of drinking water in Karachi and other districts of the province.
While addressing the Prime Minister, the PPP Chairman said that the season of Khareef crops was fast approaching and that the PM needs to ensure speedy and unrestricted water supply to Sindh, otherwise it would be impossible for Sindh farmers to sow cotton and that would harm our already reeling textile industry that is currently already facing a cotton crisis. Imran Khan should proactively avoid creating more crises, instead of acting reactively later and scapegoating others. “Owing to the mismanagement of the Federal government, an acute water crisis in Karachi and other parts of Sindh has already set in. The province is being pushed against the wall by cutting off and diverting its rightful share of water.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned the Federal government to pay heed to the water crisis now or it would have to deal with the quagmire of food scarcities, water riots, and other crises down the road. “This governments criminal incompetency has already led our country down the path of ruin, if this situation is allowed to fester and grow, the federal government won’t be able to blame away their guilt for their sheer apathy to the plight and suffering of the people.”