Irrigation water policy for Sindh  

 M.H. Panhwar

 

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  1. There is 1991 Water Accord between the Provinces; IRSA’s role is to distribute water according to agreements. IRSA has to act according to consensus of all Provinces and not according to majority. Our policy will be to have it regularilised in accordance with this policy in the Accord.
  1. In case of water shortage, riparian demand has to be met first. This principle has not been followed during the past ten years by the respective governments and this has to be executed rather than negotiated. We will have it done.
  1. The 1991 water accord provides 10 MAF of water going to sea to save its environments, mangroves, prawns and lobster, palla or hilsa habitations and other environments along the creeks, including tidal erosion of the coast which is severe and serious problem. This should have been settled in the past 10 years, but has not been done. We will give this issue priority.
  1. Kachha or riverain area now needs tube-wells to cultivate barren land of 1.5 million acres. This will be done on priority basis so as to restore horticultural and other crop production, as it was 25 years ago. Wherever ground water is not fresh or sweet, arrangements will be made to supply water from barrage areas.
  1. In the areas within river embankments as well as outside on right bank and presently not irrigated water will be made available from the river or the Manchar lake.
  1. Rain water harvesting for Sailabi cultivation as well as for charging ground water, will be promoted in Thar, Nara, Kachho and Kohistan.
  1. New technologies will be introduced to reduce irrigation water applications to crops.
  1. Precision land levelling would be promoted and as present equipment has failed totally in the past 15 years. Laser equipment for existing machinery as well as wheel type tractors of about 100-200 Horse Power with laser equipment will be introduced. As success of laser equipment depends on two dumpy level surveyors for each large tractor. Short term courses will be introduced for land owners, farm managers and others interested. It is possible to do precision land leveling in one acre plots by manual labor, if surveyors provide the bench marks. This will be encouraged.
  1. By providing proper guidance in the rice area to farmers not to waste Pancho water, 30% land can be reclaimed and Pancho water so saved will irrigate this 30% extra land.
  1. Natural lakes in rice area will be renovated from the Pancho water saved.
  1. Fresh ground water will be developed wherever it exists.
  1. Proper incentives will be given to promote all above requirements.

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