ISLAMABAD, Sep 9 (APP):Business community including Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Sunday announced full support to dam construction initiative of the incumbent government to save the country from drought and water scarcity as water worth of US $20 billion flows into sea annually without any utilization.
In his statement issued here, Senior Vice President (SVP), SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCC) Iftikhar Ali Malik termed building Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams as a positive and timely initiative and help save the country from Indian water aggression besides ensuring cheap electricity for future generations.
He said that all chambers and all trade bodies and associations affiliated with federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry would contribute generously.
He said according to the international yardstick, every country should have a minimum water storage capacity for 120 days whereas Pakistan could store water for only 30 days adding most of the developed countries have 1-2 years water storage capability.
The agriculture productivity in Pakistan in the wake of just 30 days water storage capacity has alarmingly tumbled because its contribution towards gross domestic product has lowered by 21.8 per cent of GDP.
He said that India had the ability to store water for 120-220 days, Egypt has 1,000 days water storage capacity only on River Nile, America 900 days on River Colorado, Australia 600 and South Africa has the ability to store water for 500 days on River Orange.
Criticizing the apathy of the previous governments and concerned authorities, he said, “the country needs three Mangla-sized dams to conserve the amount of water that goes to sea each year as the country faces a 36 per cent shortage in its water requirements at the moment.”
He said Pakistan was predominantly an agrarian economy as 60% of its population was directly or indirectly associated with agriculture, but with the gradually decreasing water supply, the country’s food security may come under stress.
“Adoption of modern water conservation methods and agricultural practices is imperative to cope with water scarcity as Pakistan has been placed in red zone due to low per capita water availability at 1,000 cubic metres,” he added.