Impossible to transform 100 years aged irrigation system alone by Minister: Jam Khan

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By Rehan Ali Khushik

KARACHI. World Bank took historic decision and agreed for pre feasible study of construction of new Sukkur barrage, Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank suggested to Project Director of Sindh Barrages Improvement Project- SBIP to conduct its pre feasible study for Sukkur Barrage on demand of Sindh government.

While, World Bank and Sindh government also took another historic decision and agreed on a proposed establishment of barrage management unit -BMU except having the three barrages under one chief engineer of proposed BMU for equitable water distribution, sediment management and surveillance of barrages in Sindh.

Technical Support Mission of the World Bank for the last four days visited the site of Sindh Barrages Improvement Project in Sindh Province and held meetings with direct and indirect stakeholders and Sindh government under Task team leader Mr Francois Onimus for assessing the progress of Guddu and Sukkur Barrages rehabilitation and moderation Project.

In this connection, Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank held a meeting with Project Director SBIP Mr Ghulam Mohi U Ddin Mughal, PC-Project Coordinator PCMU-Project Coordination Monitoring Unit of Planning &Development Mohammad Ehsan Leghar.

The meeting was also attended by Mr John Petherick Project manager of Guddu and Sukkur Barrages, Mr Chris Hall CRE -Chief Resident Engineer MML of Guddu Barrage Rehabilitation Project.

The Project Director SBIP-Sindh Barrages Improvement Project, Mr Ghulam Mohi u Ddin Mughal in his presentation to the Technical World Bank support mission regarding rehabilitation and moderation of Sukkur Barrage as well as Guddu barrage said that ten main gates of Guddu barrage fabricated in Turkey which were arrived at Guddu site. He said that replacement of gates of the barrage will be started next week of this month.

Furthermore, he said that the works of river training works have been completed except for strengthening and widening of the spur at upstream Guddu barrage for satellite flow.

PD SBIP briefed that regarding emergence work, four gates out of six gates were already replaced and remaining two gates will be replaced at Sukkur Barrage shortly.

He said that contract / bidden documents of replacement of remaining thirty gates of main gates barrage and 165 gates of head regulators of Sukkur barrage are under review of consultants after that will be floated in international, national and local newspapers.

PD SBIP further provided details that the Project is facing security problems but a meeting was held with DC and commander of rangers of Kandhkot-Kashmore for redressing the security issues.

He said that DC Kandhkot and Kashmore ensured and asked local SSP concerned for deploying police to avoid any untoward incident.

Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank mission held meeting with minister for irrigation department Mr Jam Khan Shoro which was attended by the Mr Jamal u Ddin Mangan, special secretary technical irrigation Sindh, Mohammad Ayoob Soomro additional secretary technical and secretary irrigation Sindh Sohial Ahmed Qureshi, Chief Engineers of the three barrages, Syed Sardar Shah of Sukkur Barrage, Mohammad Ishaq Abbasi of Guddu and Haji Khan Jamali of Kotri barrage and chief engineer small dams organization , Shafqat Hussain Wadho MD SIDA Mr Pretam Das deputy Project Coordinator Mr Sajid Ali Bhutto, Deputy Director Procurement Abdul Razzak Memon, Deputy Director Environment Dr Ali Asghar Mahesar, Director Mechanical Noor Al Arfin and Imran Aziz Tunio Technical officer of SBIP, individual consultants Dr Abdul Latif Qureshi, Mumtaz Rana, and experts Tariq Asad Ursani, Mohammad Aslam Ansari, Umer Karim and Ghulam Hyder Qureshi of PCMU.

Mohammad Ayoob Soomro, the additional technical secretary of Irrigation Sindh in his presentation highlighted that related with establishment of BMU-Barrage Management Unit, it is a proposed that the post advisor WDC-Water Distribution Cell will be redesignated and upgraded as Chief Engineer of BMU, while directorate Hydrology and research also shifted from chief engineer Kotri to the BMU barrages with enhance ToRs and qualifications. This new setup of BMU, will improve the efficient operation maintenance of three barrages.

However, regulation of barrages will be done by BMU through coordination of three barrage chief engineers as per available water.

The minister irrigation Sindh Mr Jam Khan Shoro told the forum that irrigation system of Sindh province is 100 years old which was operating or running under many stakeholders such as formers, land lords, industrialists, irrigation staff, cabinet members, opposition leaders and member of Sindh Assembly, therefore any changing in 100 years ages system of irrigation cannot be done sole by irrigation minister.

As suggested reforms, introduced in the irrigation department by the World Bank having three barrages under one unit-BMU for operation maintenance with full mandate and related activities instead of currently under three chief engineers. The irrigation minister said that Being minister of irrigation, any kind of change in the irrigation department I would have to discuss with the cabinet under the chair of CM Sindh. The TTL Francois, appreciated the government of Sindh for establishing a BMU which will work water monitoring, sediment management, mergence prepared plans and surveillance and maintenance of barrages.

Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of the World Bank told the forum that the main objective of the World Bank is to help and support the Sindh government for introducing reforms in the water sector to enhance the economy of Sindh province. Further he said that a draft of Sindh water policy has been prepared and its main purpose is integrated water resources of Sindh province.

While, Minister Irrigation Sindh, said that there is need of more stakeholders involved for framing water policy while it works to mention that irrigation act 1879 since ten no legal framework has been framed. Therefore, many areas like Indus Delta creeks or not mentioned in any act of irrigation Sindh. Therefore, there is a need to update irrigation acts parallel with Sindh water policy.

The Minister asked Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank to conduct that feasibility study of the new Sukkur Barrage. Further minister said that it should have been conducted earlier 30 years or above because due to not conducting feasibly study of new barrage so that proposed locations of Guddu barrage with offtaking

canals which almost area is occupied by constructions of house schemes, roads, bridges and other heavy structures, if in this time feasibility study will not be conducted for new barrage at Sukkur otherwise, new motorways for under constructions and multi structures are under constructions which not provide space for new barrage at Sukkur, there for this feasible study must be conducted top priority bases. Mr Francois Oniums, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank agreed and suggested to PD SBIP for preparing ToRs-Terms of Reference for pre-feasibility study of new barrage at Sukkur.
Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank in a meeting with technical high officials of irrigation department discussed that Right side canals of Guddu Barrage are suffering from silt problems, therefore he advised for model study of river training works of Sukkur Barrage to conduct on international level, on its recommendations may be some gates out of ten may be opened for increasing the capacity of flood from 0.9 million to 1.3 million Cusecs.

Mr Francois Onimus, TTL of Technical Support of World Bank further said that flood routing study for having capacity of Guddu and Sukkur barrages and avoiding any occurrence of breach at dykes of river to save from destruction of billion rupees economy and human beings lives.

However, in a conclusion meeting on Thursday, Technical Support Mission of the World Bank held a meeting of Sindh Barrages Improvement Project in Sindh Province under Task team leader Mr Francois Onimus reviewed all suggestions related to progress of Guddu and Sukkur Barrages rehabilitation and moderation Project.

This Meeting was attended by all senior officers of Project Coordinator of PCMU-Project Coordination monitoring unit planning and development and Sindh Barrages Improvement Project of Sukkur and Guddu barrages.