Water crisis looming over Pakistan if solid steps for tapping resources not taken: Khawaja Asif

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ISLAMABAD, June 6 (APP): Federal Minister for Water and
Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that water crisis is
looming over Pakistan if solid steps were not taken to tap
the existing water resources of the country.

The Minister was addressing a progress review meeting with international development parters here on Monday.

He said that since the water is underpriced and its value is
not known to ordinary people, the wastage of this precious
resource is rampant leading towards fast deteriorating
situation. The minister said that water is a gift of nature and
vital for survival of human race. He said that we have not made any significant water storage capacity after building of Tarbela and Mangla in the 1960s. He said that Pakistan storage capacity has indeed reduced due to silting.

He said that present government paid focused attention
towards water sector management and drafted water policy
in consultation with all stakeholders in the country. The water policy
is a comprehensive policy document for tapping the water resources
in the country.

Highlighting the long way the Ministry of Water and Power
has come since coming into government three years back in 2013,
the Minister said that a lot has been achieved in the sectoral
reforms. He said that a number of milestones have been achieved, including stability of the sector, reliability in liquidity, addition
of generation, improvement of transmission system etc.
He said that the government came up with long term
strategy ensuring macro economic stability. The government also came
up with an ambitious strategy for power sector. Simultaneously it
not only addressed the key challenges of the power sector but also introduced energy market for being a investment heaven for
the international and local entrepreneurs.

Briefing the participants, Secretary Ministry of Water and
Power Mr. Mohammad Younus Dagha said power sector has taken turn
around in the year 2015 as major milestone have been achieved. He
said that confidence of the investors has greatly been restored and
this can be easily gauged from the fact that in the last 20
years investment was made in 10000 MW projects while in the
last three years investment has been made in 12000MW projects by
the private sector.

The secretary while paying gratitude towards development partners like USAID, World Bank, AEDB, JICA etc for providing assistance to the Ministry of water and Power in upgradation of its system, said that a lot has been achieved and the results have now started coming. The overall T& D losses of the system has been reduced from 19.1% to 18% resulting in saving of Rs 10 billion. He said that effective monitoring of the generation and merit order has further improved the situation and the recoveries have come to 93.4% as against the 88%, registering a significant increase and betterment of liquidity of the
power sector.

The Secretary further highlighted the regional connectivity initiatives by the present government. He said that Pakistan has all potential to become regional energy hub in the shape of regional inter-transmission of energy. He said that CASA-1000 has now entered into implementation stage making the regional connection a reality.
The meeting was attended by Masroor Ahmed, World Bank,
William Bill Young, World Bank, Ehtsham, ADB, Ms. Michino
Yamaguchi, Senior Representative of JICA, JICA,
Kenji Ogasahara, Representative of JICA, Amir Bukhari Senior
Pregame Officer of JICA, Nauman Bhutta, AFD, Arbab Shakar,
Swiss Embassy, SDC, Inam Ullah Khan, Country Representative,
ISDB, Dr. Parvaiz Naeem, Senior Program Coordinator, KFW,
Nadeem Siddiqi, KFW, Sebastian ERNST, Embassy of Germany,
Bongsu Park, Embassy of Korea, Tore Nadrebo, Embassy of
Norway, Rick Slettenhaar, Head of the Economic Department,
Embassy of Netherlands, Sadik Babur Girgin, Ambassador,
Turkish Embassy, Tokhir Mirzoev, IMF, Anwar Ul-Haq, Member
Finance, WAPDA, Izhar ul Haq, Advisor, WAPDA, Syed Mehr Ali
Shah, Joint Secretary (Water), M/o Water & Power, Hiba Zaidi,
IMF, Maqsood Ahmed, NTDC, Asjad Imtiaz, CEA/CFFC, Zaho, Chinese
Embassy and Hamza Khalid, Australian High Commission.