Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro chaired a meeting at Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) secretariat in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
During the meeting he acknowledged the failure of the authority, saying, almost two-and-a-half decades have passed since the establishment of World Bank-funded SIDA in 1997, which was meant to undertake irrigation sector reforms through the representation of farmers in the department, but the very purpose of the representation could not be attained so far as the chairmen of SIDA’s all the three Area Water Boards (AWBs) are still being appointed by the provincial government instead of their election by the farmers.
He asked the officials to prepare a draft to amend the law regulating SIDA. He also underlined the need of making changes in the Sindh Water Policy keeping in view the nagging issue of the water theft.
Read SIDA, irrigation officials object to construction of Sindh Barrage
“The existing electoral college of SIDA and AWBs appears confused and non-implementable,” he said. He emphasised the amendments in the Sindh Water Management Ordinance, 2002, to simplify the system of representation.
According to the spokesperson of SIDA Hizbullah Mangrio, there are around 350 farmers organisations and 1,000 Water Course Associations within the jurisdictions of Left Bank Canal AWB, Ghotki Feeder Canal AWB and Nara Canal AWB which operate under SIDA. The remaining canals and barrages are operated by the irrigation department.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2021.