Sindh member rejects IRSA decision on Kotri water distribution
By Khalid Mustafa
ISLAMABAD: A member of Sindh’s team, which attended a meeting of the Indus River System Authority’s Advisory Committee on April 9, said the decision to distribute between Sindh and Punjab 2.12 MAF water to be released downstream Kotri was unjustified as Sindh had not proposed sharing that water with Punjab.
In a letter to IRSA chairman, Shuja Ahmad, one of two members of Sindh’s negotiation team, said the province did not discuss the downstream Kotri water releases in the meeting so there was no question of accepting the IRSA decision that Kotri water would be distributed between Punjab and Sindh.
Imtiaz Qazi, secretary of Sindh Irrigation and Power Department, was the other member of the negotiating team from Sindh.
In his letter, Mr Ahmed said during the meeting Sindh’s negotiating team had proposed that surplus water flows should be reserved in the collective pool of the four provinces and the water collected in the pool should be distributed between Punjab and Sindh on the basis of para 2 of the 1991 Water Apportionment Accord.
Mr Ahmed said he did not agree with minutes of the April 9 meeting finalised by the IRSA chairman and referred to paragraph 18 of the finalised minutes, which says that MH Siddiqui, consultant to Punjab Irrigation and Power Department, had agreed with the ‘proposal’ of Shujaa Ahmad for distributing Kotri water between Punjab and Sindh on the basis of para 2 of the accord.
He argued in his letter that in the first 17 paragraphs of the finalised minutes of the April 9 meeting, there was no mention of the ‘said proposal’ and asked how it came about in the 18 paragraph.
However, IRSA Chairman Nasr Ali Rajput told Daily Times that whatever the participants said in the April 9 meeting had been recorded. However, in the mandatory IRSA meeting to be held next Tuesday, all the five IRSA members would verify the minutes and decision of the said April 9 meeting.