Editorial : Permanent solution needed - Monday 11th April 2011

THE Indus River System Authority has temporarily cut Punjab`s share to help Sindh meet its water requirements for cotton sowing. Punjab did not object to the Irsa decision. While this month is critical for Sindh`s agriculture because of the kharif season, Punjab doesn`t need water for cotton sowing until May. Moreover, according to an Irsa spokesman, the higher releases to Sindh are expected to be adjusted against its share in the run-up to the conclusion of the current season. The water levels in the dams and rivers are also expected to rise over the next several days once temperatures in the northern parts of the country begin to climb.
That the two provinces with a long and bitter history of dispute over the distribution of water shortages are able to find a solution to the sudden drop in the dam and river flows must be welcomed. However, the present `bonhomie` between Punjab and Sindh is unlikely to last for long. The old dispute over sharing water shortages is bound to crop up again. Sindh has already told Irsa that it would not accept a cut in its share to absorb the shortages (during the rest of the season). An Irsa meeting on April 20 to decide the inter-provincial share of the shortages in case of a drop in flows is likely to be a re-enactment of past meetings on the issue. While Sindh will insist on its `full` share according to the 1991 water accord, Punjab will press for distributing shortages on the basis of `historical use`, or the average use of Indus water between 1977 and 1982 as decided by a ministerial committee in 1994. The bitterness of the past is not going to go away unless a permanent, negotiated solution to the water-sharing dispute is found, within or outside the accord.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/11/permanent-solution-needed.html

No comments:

Post a Comment