CM seeks report on paddy crop losses caused by water shortage
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday expressed serious reservations on water shortage in Sindh during Kharif season and directed the irrigation department to submit him a detailed report on the paddy crop losses due to water shortage
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting on water issues, both irrigation and drinking, here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by Secretary Irrigation Jamal Shah, Secretary Local Government Khalid Hyder Shah, Secretary Public Health Engineering Department Saeed Mangnejo, PD K-IV Asad Zamin and KWSB representative.
The chief minister said sowing of paddy crop in Sindh starts by second week of May, but this year, due to acute water shortage estimated from 40 to 60 percent, the growers became very late in growing the crop. He added that those, who had started cultivation in time, suffered huge loss as their seedlings could not receive water.
Secretary Irrigation Jamal Shah told the chief minister that water position had started improving from July 15. Giving current water position to the chief minister, he said that on Sunday (today), Guddu’s upstream was recorded at 248,175 cusecs and downstream at 220,266 cusecs. He added that Sukkur’s upstream water position was 198,770 and downstream was 143,800 cusecs, Kotri’s upstream was 51,840 cusecs and downstream was 10080 cusecs.
The chief minister said that water position was presently considerably better and directed the secretary irrigation to ensure proper release of water in the irrigation system of Larkana, Dadu, Badin and Thatta districts. He also asked him to ensure provision of water to the tail-enders. “When water position is better, why growers are crying for water”? he asked and went on saying manage it properly.
Public Health Engineering Secretary Saeed Mangnejo briefing the chief minister, said that that there were 220 ongoing water and sewerage schemes in the province, of them 66 had been completed while 26 others were at the advance stage and would be completed by September 2018.
Talking about 547 non-functional water supply and drainage schemes phase-I, he said that on the directives of the chief minister ([first tenure of Murad Ali Shah), rehabilitation work had been started. He said 62 schemes had been rehabilitated and put in operation while work on 18 others were nearing completion while tender process for 391 schemes had also been completed and contracts would be awarded shortly.
The chief minister was told that tender process for establishment of 17 water testing laboratories had been processed. The chief minister directed the secretary to award contract by the end of this months.
It may be noted that there are 1950 water supply and RO plant schemes which are being converted on solar system. Due to electricity issues, 950 schemes are either non-functional or working partially. That was why Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during his previous tenure had decided to convert them on solar energy.
In the third phase, 700 new water supply and RO plant schemes are being constructed on solar system.
The chief minister directed water board to ensure proper water supply to Karachiites during Eid days. “I know the issues of power outages and others but make sure there should be no complaint,” he directed the water board official. The chief minister said that after Eid, he would review the K-IV project in detail.