Skardu in grip of water shortage

Weekly Bang-e-sahar karachi Saturday, May 24—–30, 2008
By Farman Ali Baltistani
SKARDU: Skardu is facing an acute shortage of drinking and irrigation water, as water at the Sadpara Dam has decreased to a record low level. Normally in this season the Sadpara lake receives fresh snow- melt water but this year due to inclement weather no water has joined the lake. In the past, the lake management committee used to store water in the lake during winter season and only a small quantity of water was released to run the local hydro-power station. But after construction of the dam on the Sadpara lake, Wapda kept releasing water for five hours on a daily basis from the lake during the whole winter to generate electricity from the newly-built hydro-power house phase-1 of Sadpara dam. As a result, water in the dam diminished and Wapda had to release water by digging the surface of boundary wall through excavator. Thus, the level of water in the dam fell by about 30 feet this year. This situation has led to shortage of drinking and irrigation water and low power capacity. The Sadpara lake is the only source of drinking and irrigation water for the dwellers of Skardu and its suburban localities. Owing to insufficient water in the stream, farmers usually cut off water to the storage tanks and divert it to their channels to irrigate their agricultural farms, but PWD who is responsible for providing drinking water to the residents stop the farmers from doing so. The district administration has deployed police at the distribution point of water at the main stream to stop the farmers from taking water to their irrigation channels. This situation has caused an acute shortage of irrigation water. Talking to this correspondent, a large number of farmers said since the district administration was not allowing them to take water to their agricultural fields, their crops and fruit trees had been destroyed. They demanded that the administration should provide them compensation for the losses. Construction of Sadpara Dam was a long standing demand of the people of Skardu. At present, work on the dam is underway and almost 70 per cent work has been completed on the project. After completion of the dam, not only the requirement of electricity in the area would be fulfilled but also thousands of acres barren land would be irrigated. In the beginning, diversion of a canal named Shatung in the Sadpar Dam was included in the Sadpara Dam project but Wapda excluded the Shatung diversion from the dam project. After the exclusion of Shatung canal scheme from the Sadpara Dam project, people of Skardu were of the view that the objectives of the multipurpose Sadpara Dam project would not be achieved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s