Islamabad             -            The federal government has decided to not inaugurate any new mega Water sector project without the prior consensus of the stake holders, proper feasibility and availability of funds.

Due to the lack of funds and planning various projects have been pending more than three decades and delay in construction of such projects has resulted in cost escalation, loss of time and water scarcity” Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda said while chairing a meeting to review progress of water sector development projects.The meeting was also attended by Secretary Water Resources Muhammad Ashraf, senior officials from Federal, provincial governments and WAPDA.

Federal Minister was briefed about completion of seven water related projects in current financial year (2019-20) including RBOD-I & III and six dams in Balochistan province. “RBOD I & III will help 2.5 million acres of land in Sindh and Balochistan to overcome the issues of water logging and salinity”.

“Water projects inaugurated for the sake of optics are pending since last thirty years adding burden to the national exchequer” said the minister for Water Resources. “Let us pledge not to inaugurate projects without funds availability and a defined timeline for completion” he added.

Vawda said that under existing scenario, the importance of building reservoirs in the country cannot be ignored. Keeping in view the current water situation, it will be prudent to give weightage to the opinion of the professionals if we are truly committed to overcome the issue of looming water crisis in the country. “We believe in building consensus of all stakeholders on the matter. I urge all provincial representatives to assist us in prioritizing the projects vis-à-vis availability of funds and their long term impact on the water availability for the country” Vawda added.

He also said that because of the lack of funds and planning various projects have been pending more than three decades “Delay in construction of such projects has resulted in cost escalation, loss of time and water scarcity” he added.

Faisal Vawda said that building water reservoirs and ensuring availability of water is the top most priority of the current government. He said that currently Ministry of water resources has 61 ongoing water sector projects while 51 new projects have been included in water sector development portfolio.

“Keeping in view the water situation 34 out of 51 new projects are proposed for Balochistan province” he added.