­Islamabad - Indus River System Authority (IRSA) on Thursday decided to constitute a committee to resolve the dispute between Sindh and Balochistan arising out of latter’s second complaint against the former for stealing its share of water.

“Balochistan strongly protested at IRSA meeting that all the other three provinces were getting their allocated share of water, while it had been sidelined. The province has received 40 percent less water so far,” official source told The Nation.

The meeting was presided over by IRSA Chairman Rao Irshad.

“Besides discussing the provinces’ share of water, the meeting also reviewed the water flow in the rivers and storage in the reservoirs. The meeting was informed that Punjab and Sindh had utilised 99 percent of their allocated share till July 31, while Balochistan received only 60 percent of its share,” the source added.

It is pertinent to mention here that in May also, Balochistan had complained against Sindh for not providing to it its share of water. According to Balochistan government, the province has no separate canal to extract its share from the barrages, and all supplies to the province are regulated by Sindh through its own system.

“Due to control over the regulation system at barrages as well as parent channels, Sindh allegedly draws more water than apportioned to it as per the Water Apportionment Accord agreed among the provinces in 1991, leaving Balochistan in a disadvantageous position,” the source disclosed.

He added that it was decided in the meeting that, for the resolution of the issue, a committee would be constituted which will visit both the provinces and meet their chief secretaries and irrigation officials to ascertain the real situation and the causes for the losses caused to Balochistan.

“The meeting also expressed satisfaction over forecast for the water availability, which remained as per the forecast,” the source said.

However he said exact forecast for losses during the period could not be made. “It had been forecasted that the loss would be around 9 maf, but it reached to 11 maf,” the source informed. Regarding downstream Kotri releases the source said that it was 5 maf.

Similarly the source said the IRSA members also endorsed the letter sent by the authority to WAPDA, asking it to accelerate the filling of Tarbella Dam as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) so much so that water level could reach maximum up to 1550 feet.

According to the SOP, water from 1 foot to 4 feet a day can be stored in the dam. Currently, due to monsoon, only one foot water per day is being stored in the dam.

“In the letter, the IRSA chairman had asked WAPDA to fill Tarbela Dam given the bumpy monsoon rains; something that prevented IRSA from taking any risk as it was feared that the forecast for 20 percent more rains this year might not come true,” the source said, adding that Irsa wanted the reservoir to be filled as early as possible.

“Similarly, it was also directed at the meeting that Mangla Dam be filled to its peak level of 1242 feet by August 20,” the source concluded.