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    Posted January 28, 2014 by
    Lahore, Pakistan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    California drought

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    Drought situation in Cholistan

    Canals being the main source of drinking water for Cholistanis, Pakistan the unusual closures of the same by Indus River System Authority (IRSA) have aggravated the drought situation.

    The perishing of livestock population, so abandoned in the area, popularly called Rohi, is another loss suffered by the locals.

    Cholistan makes part of three agricultural districts, Yazman, Bahawalpur and Rahimyarkhan and dependent on the provision of canal water for the survival of its 0.12 million people and 0.2 million livestock.

    At least two-third area of Bahawalpur division constitutes desert where communities make their livelihood through raising livestock since centuries.

    The Sutlej, Beas have been the lifeline of the desert economy but the taking over of this water channel by India as a result of Indus Basin Treaty with Pakistan, has intensity of dry spell for at least six months preceding the monsoons.

    Huge funds have been spent through CDA for the development of ponds and kunds to ensure the availability of water in the area but the arrangements have not proved enough to save precious lives droughts devours each year.

    Intelligentsia of Bahawalpur believes the Punjab Irrigation Department has failed to get IRSA around on the need to make water in Cholistan available while catering to the needs of the agricultural districts of the lower riparian, Sindh.

    The leading MPs of the area have once demanded including water issue part of the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan in the last days of Jamali government.

    Availability of waters in Sutlej River can be a readily available solution to the problem as the Cholistanis have been migrating each year to this river since long to survive drought spell.
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