Speakers stress for construction of dams to meet water shortage

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ISLAMABAD, July 13 (APP): Speakers here at a
seminar arranged by Center For Global and Strategic
Studies (SFGSS) Thursday stressed the need for the
construction of more water reservoirs to meet
electricity and water needs.
“Construction of dams was inevitable for the
prosperity and progress of the country. Construction of
dams would not only control massive loss of water during
monsoon season every year, but would also be imperative
for better agri-production and address the energy
crisis,” said the speakers.
Former chairman of WAPDA Shams-ul-Haq said, “Water
is not a commodity, it is life and gift from the Allah
Almighty as creation of the world depended on it”.
He said Pakistan is paying an annual price of Rs
192 billion for failure to build the Kalabagh dam (KBD).
He said China, USA and India had built 22,000,
7000 and 4,500 small and medium dams respectively but
Pakistan comparatively built very less number of dams,”
he said.
Kalabagh Dam was planned with an annual generation
capacity of 12 billion units of electricity, at cost of
Rs 1.2 per unit, he said. Due to incessant delays in the
construction of the dam, Wapda fulfilled demand by
generating electricity using expensive fuel, which costs
the nation Rs 192 billion annually, he maintained.
He recalled that in 1970 South Asian countries
used to come to Pakistan for establishing of industries
due to availability of cheaper electricity but now the
situation is totally opposite.
“I am surprised why Pakistan is facing
loadshedding despite having capacity to generate cheaper
electricity, we have capacity if we have will to do,” he
said.
He accused that pro-Indian lobby is against the
construction of Kalabagh Dam. “If you are against the
construction of Kalabagh dam, how can you be called
friend of Pakistan,” he posed a question.
Chairman of Gomal Damaan Area Water partnership
Brigadier (r) Muhammad Aslam Khan said, “Pakistan has
only 30-day storage facility in dams compared to 180-day
storage in India and 365 days in Canada and USA.
According to international standards, 40 per cent of the
river flows are required to be stored. Pakistan has only
13.29 MAF storage against 58 MAF.”
He said the cheapest energy could be generated
through hydel resources and construction of medium and
small dams are crucial for Pakistan’s energy needs.
Chairman of Pakistan Council of Research in Water
Resources (PCRWR) Muhammad Ashraf said that Pakistan has
one of the biggest irrigation systems. He said most of
the industrial, agricultural and drinking water comes
from underground.
He stressed the need for water management besides
construction of new water storage.
Lieutenant General (R) Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam,
stressed on the need for water management and creating
awareness among the masses about the misuse of water.