Abid for joining hands to cope with water scarcity

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Zero loadshedding from 415 feeders in KP: Abid Sher Ali

ISLAMABAD, Apr 17 (APP): State Minister for Water and Power
Abid Sher Ali Monday apprised the Senate that water scarcity was an
important national issue and called for jointing hands to cope it
effectively.
Winding up a discussion on deferred motion on water scarcity issue
in Pakistan moved by Saleem Mandviwala and others, the minister said
some 52 million acre feet (MAF) water was wasted in 2010 due to non-
availability of storage capacity.
He said unfortunately Pakistan has only three major reservoirs
including Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma which could store water for
only 30 days.
The minister said the government has acquired 90 per land for
Diamer Bhasha dam and work on it would be started by end of this
year.
He said the government has decided to build the dam from its
own resources.
Similarly, the Mohamand Dam was also approved by ECNEC and
work would be commenced on it during this year.
Abid said there was no mechanism for water conservation in the
country which needed to be realized.
He called for strict legislation regarding water use to
address the water shortage issue in the country.
The minister said that there was dire need of construction of
reservoirs to preserve the rain water for future use.
He said all the provinces should sit together to address the
water issue in the country and make future strategy in this regard.
Earlier, speaking on the motion, the senators said that
Pakistan was among water stressed country and per capita water has
also considerably decreased.
They were of the views that some 27 million people have no
access to clean drinking water as per UNDP report.
They said Pakistan has only 30 days storage capacity while
other developed countries have at least 900 days storage capacity.
The senators urged the chair to constitute a special committee
so it could give proper recommendation in this regard.
They said water has no alternative and said the third world
war might be on water issue.
They said there was also dire need for proper legislation to
use and conserve the water.
They also said WAPDA was also giving priority to power
generation rather than storing water.
They were of the views that the irrigation system in the
country was also outdated which needed to proper attention.
Desilting of dams could also enhance water storage capacities,
they said.
Those who took part in the discussion were included Mohsin
Aziz, Saleem Mandviwalla, Usman Kakar, Taj Haider, Sardar Azam,
Mohsin Laghari, Javed Abbasi, Ayesha Raza and Sirajul Haq.
Later, the chair referred the matter to the Committee of the
Whole of House for detailed deliberations.