Asif stresses joint efforts to overcome water crisis



Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Monday stressed the need for joint efforts to cope with the water crisis in the country.

An international conference on water situation in Pakistan was being organised in November, he said while winding up discussion on commenced motion about situation arising out of constantly decreasing water table in the country.

The minister said a water policy had also been finalised with consensus, which would be presented for approval in the next meeting of Council of Common Interests.

He said the water shortage was a natural crisis and it should be tackled by the whole nation collectively. Asif said that unfortunately there was no culture of conservation of water, electricity and gas etc in the country. Now, it was being made part of educational curriculum at initial stage, he added.

He said the old irrigation techniques were still being used despite the fact that water wastage could be effectively controlled by adopting modern ones.

He said no province had any metering system to check water usages. The minister said it was also decided to start work on Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams this year, whose water would not only be used for irrigation but also for power generation.

He said the Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be constructed from Public Sector Development Programme, which would also generate 4500 MW electricity.

Regarding the Naulong Dam, the minister said the federal government was ready to construct it but it had become a political issue. The Balochistan government and political parties should work on its implementation, he added.

Asif said the Indus River System Authority had members from all the provinces and rights of all the provinces were being protected. He said the water metering and tax issues were the responsibility of the provinces. He said the polluted water of Karachi should be treated and reused instead of going into the sea.