Economic growth of Pakistan is not possible without resolving water and energy crises and implementation of the Five Dam Plan for the survival of Pakistan, said water and power sector experts during a conference on “Water and Energy crises in Pakistan and their solution” organised by the Save Water Save Pakistan Forum at TECH Club on Monday.
Former Chief Technical Advisor of United Nations and World Bank Engineer Bashir A Malik said that Punjab province was the direct effectee of Indus Water Treaty reducing 33 million acre feet water of Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers. He also said that 8 percent of the total available water resources of Pakistan was used for domestic use while 92 percent for irrigation.
Indus River System Authority (IRSA) former chairman Engineer Shafqat Masood, Former Minister of State Qayyum Nizami, Former Vice Chancellor Islamia University Bahawalpur Professor Abdul Qayyum Qureshi, Former Managing Director Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Foundation Engineer Mansoor Ahmed, Agricultural Scientist Dr Muhammad Sadiq, Former GM Kalabagh Dam project Engineer M Saeed Khan, Former GM Tarbela Dam Engineer Mian Muhammad Ashraf, and President TECH Club Zubair Sheikh, also spoke on the topic.
The speakers said that Pakistan has not been able to build even a single large dam after Tarbela dam project initiated in 1976, whereas India has built more than 33 large dams during this period. If Kalabagh dam project is not build there will be irreparable loss to the water and energy sector of Pakistan for which our new generation will not forgive us.
Participants of the Save Water Save Pakistan Forum conference demanded in their recommendations that implementation on building Five Dams Plan including Munda dam, Kurram Tangi dam, Akhori dam and Kalabagh dam, at least by 2025 to store water and generate electricity to meet the demand. In order to work on the war footings formation of Central Board of Irrigation and Power comprising patriotic and sincere professional senior Engineers of Pakistan, is necessary to start a national campaign in the field of water and energy.
Central Board of Irrigation and Power can set engineering standards and criteria for design and practice besides helping the government to resolve many intricate and politically sensitive inter-provincial issues relating to water and power, etc. Forum also recommended steps like demand management through population planning, irrigation demand control and water conservation for interim relief from food scarcity and loadshedding. Optimum efficiency in application of water by lining minor channels and field watercourses, increase in crop yields by several folds in line with the axiom: “maximum crop per drop” through the use of genetic technology, advanced research in irrigation practices and crop technology and establishment of new industries with the help of cheap hydropower generated at new dams, were also recommended by the speakers. Engineer Bashir A Malik, Chairman of Save Water Save Pakistan Forum informed that he has initiated a campaign to resolve the water and energy crises for which a delegation of the forum will meet all national leaders and governmental authorities to highlight all possible practicable solutions and options to be considered by Pakistani leadership, as a team of International Water Resource experts.