Agricultural and water experts have expressed concern over non-establishment of new big dam for the last 40 years in the country and mentioned that more than 30 MAF of water was wasted annually by sending into the sea, which causing the loss worth billions of dollars. They were addressing at a seminar on “Pakistan Water Resources” arranged at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad as part of the Rabi Festival.
While chairing the session, Federal Minister for National Food Security Rao Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said the government was making all-out efforts to address the issues of water that are deepening every year. He said that dams were being constructed to meet the demand of increasing population amid the threat of decreasing water reservoirs.
He showed his concern that in the index of per capita water availability; the Pakistan had been put on red zone. He said that construction of Kalabagh dam was a way forward to fight the challenges of the water scarcity that could not be metalized due to politics.
He said that the heavy investment was being made on the agricultural sector. He also lauded the steps being taken on the part of the Punjab government for the issue. He said that the Member IRSA Rao Irshad Ali Khan said that storages of 22 MAF presently flowing annually.
He stressed upon the need to develop dams by saying that electricity produced from hydel costs Rs 2.62, gas Rs 7.43, coal Rs 12.91, furnace oil Rs 17 and the wind electricity at the cost of Rs 11.62. He said that due to reservoirs sedimentation, Tarbela capacity had declined by 35 percent as it was designed for 9.6 MAF and now it 6.33 MAF. Mangla dam storage capacity has reduced by 16 percent and Chashma storage capacity has squeezed by 61 percent.
UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that at the time of inception, the water per capita availability was 5650 while it has reduced to 991 MAF now, ringing the alarm bells of water scarcity. He said that the canal system brought the life to Faisalabad which was a barren land a century ago.
Source: Business Recorder