October 09, 2014 – Muhammad Riaz –
Former senior vice president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and former chairman Poultry Association Abdul Basit has urged the government to initiate work on mega water projects if it wants to save the country from turning into desert and for the sake of future generations.
Talking to us on the issue of water shortage and its impact on coming generations, particularly in Pakistan, the LCCI former SVP alleged that the enemies of Pakistan were spending all their energies to push Pakistan on the brink of starvation but the nation would have to show solidarity to foil their nefarious designs.
He said Pakistan was one of the countries on the planet earth where the water level was decreasing with every passing day. He said in the year 1950, the water availability was 5,000 cubic meters per capita and in the year 2010 it is 1,000 cubic meter per capita while a huge quantity of 35 million acre feet water annually is being thrown into sea. He said a huge tract of nine million hectors of land was going waste due to unavailability of water. Abdul Basit said the water storage capacity of exiting dams had also reduced by 26 percent.
The LCCI former SVP said those who were making hue and cry against construction of water reservoirs were the enemies of the country as they know well that Pakistan could reach the zenith provided it builds water reservoirs. While quoting former Chairman Wapda Shamsul Mulk, he said that 0.8 million hectors of land that was about 150 feet above the Sindh River level could be cultivated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone if Kalabagh Dam was constructed.
The LCCI former SVP said the water shortage was not only impacting upon agricultural products but it was also aggravating energy situation as there was a time when electricity generated in Pakistan had a bigger hydle energy share in the energy mix and today the situation was other way round. “More than half of the electricity is being generated through hydro power that is an unjustified proportion by all means for a country like Pakistan.” Abdul Basit said Pakistan was a marvellous piece of land which had all four-weather season, huge fertile land, precious mineral resources and skilled manpower, and stressed the need for proper strategy to tap those resources.