Sindh: Pakistani PM Approves Barrage Project
For years, the inhabitants of the Indus River valley have had their livelihoods threatened by man-made changes in weather patterns, which has resulted in a decrease of water flow by 90% compared to the 1970s. This change in the water flow, paired with the shrinking of the indispensable mangrove forests in the river’s estuary, threatens to flood the province’s capital Karachi by 2060. Climate change has also led to the formation of hundreds of glacial lakes, threatening to devastate villages with unprecedented flooding. In light of these environmental challenges, various solutions involving dams, artificial ponds and waterways have already been explored without success. The newly approved project could potentially constitute the long-awaited answer to the region’s environmental struggles.
The article below was published by the Business Recorder:
In what can be termed as a historic development for addressing the issues relating to water in Sindh province including in the areas downstream Kotri Barrage and cosmopolitan city of Karachi, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has formally approved to develop a water reservoir by constructing a barrage on River Indus about 45 kilometer upstream of its outfall into sea.
The project named 'Sindh Barrage' is being dubbed as a phenomenal project to address almost all water issues in downstream Kotri Barrage starting from sea intrusion to land erosion in the delta, from the adverse impact of climate change to the loss of wetland habitats, mangroves and marine life, and from non-availability of fresh water for both irrigation and domestic use to mass exodus.
The Sindh Barrage Project has been conceived and proposed by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in view of the long standing water issues in Sindh including Karachi.
The proposed Sindh Barrage project is scheduled to be completed in December 2024 by implementing the project on fast-track. WAPDA will commence the feasibility study in next month followed by its vetting by international consultants by December 2020 and by the completion of a detailed engineering design by December 2021. Subsequently, construction of the project will start in January 2022 and will complete in December 2024. The proposed Sindh Barrage project is to be constructed 65 Km South of Thatta and 130 Km East of Karachi.
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