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Sea intrusion continues to occupy Badin-Thatta lands, Karachi at stake.

KARACHI: Sea intrusion continues to occupy Badin and Thatta lands as authorities have failed to release Indus River's 35 Million Acres Feet (MAF) water from Kotri downstream,Balochistan Expresslearnt on Wednesday. During a field visit Balochistan Express found that over 60 dehs of Thatta district have been intruded by the sea since establishment of Pakistan while a Senate standing committee has indicated that Badin and Thatta will drown by 2050 and Karachi by 2060 therefore, IRSA needs to release at least 10 MAF water into the sea from Kotri downstream as per national water accord of 1991. However, experts have suggested 35 MAF water release from Kotri downstream to stop fast sea intrusion.

It is matter of great concern that presently, no water is being released downstream Kotri. As a result, sea is continuing to erode land in Thatta and Badin districts besides making seawater salty resulting in raise in death ratio of fish, prawn and other living things.

The 1991 water share agreement among provinces has allocated release of 10 MAF water downstream Kotri, but ironically no water is being released Kotri downstream. The provinces water share as per this agreement is following: Punjab 37% Sindh 37% Balochistan 12% KP 14%.

"Badin, Thatta and Sujawal will be underwater by 2050 if 35 million acre feet (MAF) of water are not released from the Indus Delta," a social leader Rahim Dad told "Balochistan Express"at Ketti Bander area. He said that many villages had been inundated by sea and more villages will be drowned if sea intrusion is not stopped through release of water from Indus River.

The sea's intrusion into the once-thriving Indus Delta in the coastal Thatta district occurs mainly because the Indus River does not carry enough water below the Kotri Barrage, a major dam 190 miles north of the coast, to hold back the saltwater from the river and its network of creeks and mudflats. The Indus River Delta forms where the Indus River flows into the Arabian Sea, mostly in the Southern Sindh province of Pakistan with a small portion in the Kutch Region of the Western tip of India.

The delta covers an area of about 41,440 km, and is approximately 210 km across where it meets the sea. According to a research, 2.

4 million acres of the Indus delta has been invaded by the sea and it is feared that if the present rate of sea erosion continues, the whole of Shah Bunder tehsil will vanish by 2035 and the sea will reach Thatta city by 2050. There is need to release least 10 MAF water downstream Kotri to stop increasing sea intrusion. The Sindh government has continuously been pressing the federal government to implement water accord in its letter and spirit, but nobody was ready to resolve this issue.

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Publication:The Balochistan Express (Quetta, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 3, 2019
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