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FPCCI stresses for addressing water shortage issues

Islamabad: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday said vulnerability of the people to frequent water shortages should be properly addressed.

We are a nation which is dependent upon agriculture for our survival while the Indus River is our lifeline which merits the urgent attention of the authorities, it said. Water should be conserved and undue exploitation of water resources at the expense of the people and economy of the country should be stopped, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, chairman of FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries.

He said that Indus Water Treaty is tilted in favour of India, therefore, she is unwilling for any amendment in it so Pakistan must address its own internal water security issues and create sufficient storage.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that lack of sufficient water has pushed agriculture and industry to ruthlessly pump out underground water through tube wells hitting the underground water levels in the country affecting agricultural output.

He said that we are losing almost half of available water through seepage in the irrigation system causing water-logging and salinity which are turning large areas of fertile land barren. He added that lining of water canals and water courses should be the first priority in saving the water rather than the construction of large dams having significant economic and environmental cost.

Average cereal production in Pakistan against a metre cube of water is mere 0.13 kg while it is 8.1 kg in Canada. Our neighbour should not be flouting the spirit of the water treaty and manipulate water flows to turn the screws on Pakistan as it can result in unforeseen consequences, he warned.

Source: The News International