KARACHI - Shura Hamdard stresses on a comprehensive water policy for domestic and industrial consumptions and extends heartiest congratulations to Sadia Rashid for receiving high honoured civil award from Japan.

Speakers at a meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to chalk out and implement a comprehensive national water policy for domestic and industrial use of water.

The meeting was held on Monday on the theme: “Construction of dams and the reduction in use of water is mandatory” chaired by Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi at the Hamdard Corporate Office, Karachi. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan was also present at the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest and water resources and power expert, Dr Muhammad Bashir Lakhani said that water consumption should be evaluated on all levels to ascertain the large consumer and to charge cost of water as per consumption. There should be over all records of water consumption from which we can analyze average water consumption in every sector of the country, he added.

According to Dr Lakhani, agriculture sector is the largest consumer of the water, despite this we have water reserves of only three months. Since Tarbela dam the country has not been able to construct any large dam to create large water reservoir as practically nothing has been done on Bhasha dam yet. We have lost three rivers as a result of Indus Water Basin Treaty of 1960. If recycled water is used domestically and commercially it would cost half for the consumers, therefore, installation of R.O. plants is the need of the hour.

He emphasised on desalination, repair of water pumps, lining of irrigation canals and stopping of water theft for the conservation of water and asked the politicians to refrain from doing politics on water as the dams and hydro-power were the answer of our water and energy crisis.

Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khari while insisting on the construction of new dams and use of recycled water said that the former chief justice of Pakistan had done a good job raising the fund for the dam though he could be able to collect only one per cent of the dam’s cost, but created awareness about the imminent shortage of water in the nation. Recycled water could be used safely in cleaning the floors and watering the lawns and plants, he added.

Engineer Pervez Sadique suggested that the installation of R.O. plants should be done along with the construction of houses, because recycling was the best way for the conservation of water and it is being done everywhere in the world. Huge seepage from irrigation canals was creating waterlogging and spoiling the agriculture lands. Price of water should be fixed and be charged according to consumption of water, he asserted.

Prof Dr Shakil Farooqui, while highlighting the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 said, the interesting aspect of this treaty was, that comparing to India, Pakistan got the double quantity of water but at the same time India was allowed to use water for creating electricity and other purposes, that’s why India had built power projects on our rivers. Last week, a 3-member delegation of Pakistan went to India to take account of those projects, but nothing has been reported in media about this development so far, he doubted and said all matter should be brought to the knowledge of the nation and at least a big lake should be built in every city to accumulate water particularly rainy water as was done in USA, he added.

Commodore (Rtd) Sadeed Anwar Malik said, given the rapid growth in population of the country we should economize the use of food and water and control the birth rate. All technologies of drip, spray and pipe irrigation were available in the world only we should have to take them and use them to solve our problems and for population control we have to spread education and empower the women, he concluded.

Shamim Kazmi, Huma Baig, Ibn Hasan Rizvi, Dr. Abubakr Sheikh, Anwar Aziz Jakartawalla, Mrs. Mussarrat Akram, Usman Damohi and Barigediar (Rtd) Riazul Haq also spoke.

Shura Hamdard congratulated Mrs. Sadia Rashid on receiving the high honored civil award from the Emperor and Government of Japan and condoled the death of Syed Tariq Zafar, a famed social worker, who died recently.