Speakers at a conference named ‘Water’, held on Sunday under the auspices of of Sufi Shah Inayat literary Organization at the Thatta Press Club, demanded that the government release around 30 million acre feet (MAF) water downstream Kotri Barrage, as per the 1991 accord to save the Indus Delta from destruction.
They said that not releasing the required amount of water was wreaking havoc in the country’s coastal region and warned that if the situation remained the same, it would go from bad to worse.
Former senator Sassui Palijo attended the event as chief guest. She said that the situation was alarming due to the imprudent distribution of water by the federal government and the Indus River System Authority (IRSA).
She added that Sindh should be given the share of those affected by sea intrusion and water scarcity in the upcoming National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to redress the loss Sindh had suffered. Palijo said that the sea had eroded around 4.2 million acres of agricultural and non-agricultural land in the coastal region of the country but despite that the federal government was planning to construct more dams on the Indus river, without realizing the consequences that would be borne by Sindh alone.
“If the situation remained the same, sea will eat up vast area in Badin, Thatta, Kotri and Ibrahim Hyderi,” by 2050, she warned. Palijo added that the Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) chairman, who was working on the directions of his master, must resign.
The federal government should find out an alternative way to compensate Sindh’s loss due to this calamity. Renowned environmentalist Nasir Panhwer suggested that every drop of water was crucial for Sindh. He added that it was necessary to devise a groundwater policy because the groundwater in the coastal region had also turned brackish.