KP Assembly admits question on unutilised water share for debate


PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday admitted a question regarding the utilisation of 34 percent of its unutilised share of water under the Water Accord, 1991, and the stance of the provincial government on this issue for a detailed debate while the question of a woman member regarding non-allotment of rooms to MPAs in Khyber House in Islamabad was referred to the standing committee concerned.
The house met with Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi in the chair. In the question hour, opposition members, including Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Sikandar Hayat Sherpao and Sultan Mohammad Khan, of the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), asked supplementary questions regarding schemes for the utilisation of the 34 percent unutilised water out of province’s share under the Water Accord, 1991.
Under the accord, the now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was allotted 8.78 million acre feet regular share, besides 14 percent share in floodwater and new dams in the province. 
However, because of absence of canal system, the province is utilising only 5.78 million acre feet (66 percent) of its share and 3 million acre feet (34 percent) remains unutilised.
The opposition legislators asked the government to explain its stance on the matter and also to raise the matter in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) or on other higher forums. 
Provincial Minister Arif Yousuf called the supplementary questions “irrelevant” and asked the legislators to submit fresh questions. 
However, a treasury MPA said that the matter had already been taken up in the CCI. He said that the PTI government was determined to protect the rights of the province and that the matter had been taken up with the federal government as well as with the Punjab government. 
Information Minister Shah Farman agreed with the opposition’s stance and said that the question was of vital nature and should be admitted for a detailed discussion.
Sikandar Hayat Sherpao, of the QWP, said that the purpose of their questions was to help the provincial government protect the rights of the province. 
Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha, of the PML-N, also asked the chair to refer the question to the committee concerned.
Nighat Orakzai, of the PPP, also criticised the poor performance of the ministers and said that supplementary questions should be referred to the standing committees concerned in case the ministers fail to answer the same.
Anisa Zeb Tahikheli, of the QWP, said that there should be full-time law minister to address important issues as there was a confusion in portfolios of the ministers. 
Mufti Said Janan, of the JUI-F, gave a notice under Rule 48 of the Rules of Business for holding a detailed debate on the issue.
Similarly, the question of Uzma Khan, of the JUI-F, regarding non-allotment of rooms to MPAs in Khyber House in Islamabad was also referred to the committee concerned. 

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