December 1, 2021

Water accord violation: Punjab takes 17% shortages, Sindh 37% shortages: Murad

  • People urged to get vaccinated
  • COVID-19 has hit new heights after Eid in Sindh
  • Marriage halls, parks, Gyms beauty parlors, shrines to remain closed
  • Educational institutions closed

KARACHI (May 23, 2021): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that under 1991 Water Accord the provinces have to share water, surpluses as well as shortages, as per agreed formula but now this accord is not implemented.

He said during the on-going Kharif season-2021 Sindh has been given 35 percent shortage in the first 10-daily and 37.7 percent shortage in the second 10-daily while the Punjab has been given 17.3 percent shortage in the first 10-daily and 16 shortages in the second 10-daily.

“As a matter of fact, the water shortages would have been shared equally but just to give favour to the Punjab they have been given more water.”

This he disclosed while addressing a press conference on two different issues, water shortages in Sindh and coronavirus situation, here at CM House.

Murad Ali Shah said that in 1991 Accord water distribution between the provinces was agreed on a formula. He added that for every 10 days there was an allocation of water for every province. “In case of shortages or surplus water would be shared as per agreed formula,” he said.

Mr Shah said that under the accord the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) was created to implement the water accord in true letter and spirit but “it seems it has failed to do its job judiciously.

Sharing the data of first 10-daily (May 1 to 10) of Kharif season 2021, the chief minister said that the share of Punjab was 93.7 MAF against which it was given 77.5 MAF which showed a shortage of 17.3 percent.

Similarly, the share of Sindh was 51.1 MAF against which it was given 33.3 MAF that showed a 35 percent shortage. Balochistan was given 20 percent more water.

Talking about second 10-daily (May 11 to 20) distribution of water, Murad Ali Shah said that the Punjab had a share of 100.8 MAF against which it was given 84.6 MAF which showed a 16 percent shortage while Sindh was given 38.4 MAF against a share of  61.7 MAF that showed a 37.7 percent shortage.

The chief minister said that under the water accord, the [water] shortages would have been shared by the provinces as per agreed formula, but the Punjab has been given more water and the Sindh has been turned barren.

“This is an injustice with the people of Sindh and I would be raising my voice against it,” he said and added he would also write a letter to the prime minister on the issue.

COVID-19:

The chief minister said COVID-19 has hit new heights, last year Eidul Fitr was celebrated on May 24, 2020 and on that day, we had 846 cases and within 15 days after Eid the number of cases had increased to 3,036 on June 11, 2020 that constituted 30 percent detection rate.

The CM said this year, Eidul Fitr was on May 13, 2021 and on that day, we had 1,232 cases and within eight days (May 22) the number of cases increased to 2135.

“Our hospitals, particularly the Infection Disease Institute and Aga Khan have no beds for COVID patients.

Talking about PCR tests, he said that after Eidul fitr 2,809 tests have been conducted per million population because we want to assess the situation so that appropriate strategy could be made to protect our people. He added that during the last one-week the positive cases ratio has been recorded at 8.37 percent that was quite dangerous.

Comparing figure Ramzan, CM said that when Ramzan started, the ratio of the cases was lower in Sindh than other provinces. As the month of Ramzan kept passing the number of cases went on increasing because inter-provincial transport services kept plying and moving passengers from one province to the other. “Had it [transport] been banned for two weeks as was suggested by the Sindh government the pandemic would have been contained,” he deplored.

Strict SOPs from Monday next two weeks

Murad Ali Shah categorically said that in such a situation when cases of coronavirus were on the rise and death rate was also showing an upward trend, relaxation in the restrictions could not be considered. “We may impose more and strict restrictions, if the people dare to defy the SOPs,” he warned.

Marriage halls, parks, Gyms beauty parlors, shrines to remain closed

He said that marriage halls, expo halls, parks, Indoor Gyms, sports facilities, amusement parks, cinemas, beauty parlors, shrines and all tourist spots have been closed for next two weeks from Monday.

Educational institutions closed

“All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities have been closed all over Sindh till further orders,” he said and added transport has been allowed with 50 percent occupancy of their capacity.

Mr Shah said that shops, including supermarkets would operate from 6 am to 6 pm. “We would not allow supermarkets to operate under the pretext of having a pharmacy,” he said and added pharmacies at hospitals and as separate stores would operate round the clock.

The restaurants would offer only take away and home delivery service.

The chief minister urged people of the province to get vaccinated. “The whole world is opening because they have vaccinated their people,” he said and added “we have 234 vaccination centers all over Sindh and I would suggest the people to get themselves vaccinated.”

More vaccinations being procured

Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho said that more vaccinations were being procured to cover the entire population. She added that mobile vaccinations units were being launched to cover elderly bed-ridden people.

Baseless narrative

Dr Faisal talking about developing magnetic power in the body after being vaccinated was a baseless narrative. “This is something to misguide the people,” he said and urged people to get themselves vaccinated to stay safe and secure from the virus.

Dr Bari of Indus Hospital said that the UK variant was quite dangerous, and it affects so intensely. He added that people could be made secure if they were vaccinated.

Dr Qaiser Sajjad of PMA told the media that more restrictions should be imposed until the spread of the virus was contained. He suggested that every day at least five to six lacs people should be vaccinated.

COVID situation report:

The chief minister sharing the daily situation report of the coronavirus said that 11 more patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 4,920 that constituted 1.6 percent death rate.

The CM said that 21,808 tests were conducted on May 23, 2021 against which 1,529 new cases were detected that came to 7 percent current detection rate. He added that so far 3,980,371 tests have been conducted which diagnosed 309,630 cases that constituted 7.8 percent overall cases.

Mr Shah said that overnight 599 patients have recovered and so far 281,596 patients have recovered that constituted 91 percent recovery rate.

According to the chief minister currently 23,114 patients are under treatment, of them 22,181  are in home isolation, 15 at isolation centers, 918 at different hospitals. He said that the condition of 94 patients was stated to be critical, of them 71 have been shifted to ventilators.

The chief minister said that out of 1529 new cases, 1066 have been detected from Karachi, including 332 from South, 277 East, 175 Central, 124 malir, 83 Korangi and 75 West. Hyderabad has 145 cases, Shikarpur 30, Kashmore 27, Sujawal 22, Ghotki 21, Kambar 17, Sukkur 16, Shaheed Benazirabad 15, Umerkot 14, Badin 13, Sanghar, Jamshoro and  Tando Allahyar 12 each, Naushehroferoze and  Larkana 11 each, Matiari, Mirpurkhas and  Thatta 10 each, Khairpur nine, Dadu five, Jacobabad four and Tando Mohammad Khan t