LAHORE - Speakers at Hameed Nizami Hall on Tuesday blamed government and management for the shortages of water and electricity in the country. They said previous and present rulers were responsible of the mess in both the sectors. While regretting over the current crisis, they were all voiced had Kalabagh Dam built in time, the situation would have been better. However, a government representative defending the position added that problems emerged from both sides - the governments and the masses. President Tehrik-e-Istaqlal Rahmat Khan Wardag, Director General Pepco Muhammad Khalid, Director Punjab Water Council, Rabia Sultan and Convener Tehrik-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir Hafiz Khalid Waleed expressed their views on 'electricity and water problems and their solution.' Khawaja Farrukh Saeed hosted the forum. They were of the view that the construction of dams from government side and conservation of energy from the people's side was the need of the hour. Khalid added 'currently, Pepco has 19.8 million electricity consumers across the country and by switching off a 100-volt bulb by each consumer, we can save 198MW of electricity'. He said the long term planning was required to construct dams. However, the better supply of gas could help us to meet the current electricity crisis. 'We are getting about 123mmcfd gas as compared to our demands of 780mmcfd.' He suggested the establishment of energy park, utilisation of coal resources and the hydel generation for adequate and affordable electricity. Only one Ghazi Brotha Hydel Power Project has been constructed since 1987. The government had banned Wapda to construct thermal power plants in 987 to encourage the investment of private sector in this sector. But, the private sector had not invested satisfactorily in this regard. Similarly, the gas supply was being reduced to power plants with the passage of time also added the power shortages problem. Responding to questions, he justified the power tariff to consumers and said it has been designed according to the social structure. He said that it was misconception that Wapda employees wasted huge amount of electricity rather it was a smaller ratio. Out of our total average sale of 72 billion units, they were consuming only 400 million or 0.52 percent of total consumption. To another question, he replied the government has given the June 31 the new deadline of Pepco's dissolution. Rahmat Khan, however, criticised the management and past and present governments and said 'the corrupt leadership and American lobby were responsible of all crises in the country.' He said that those who had not constructed the dams were national offenders. He said had there dams, the millions of acres could have been turned for fertilization. He said Water Vision 2016 has been unanimously adopted by all the leaderships which proposed five dams including KBD yet the government has been failed to construct even a single dam. He said no one from small farmers but only Sindhi feudal were opposing KBD. He said ban on free electricity facility for Wapda employees could make the situation better. Rabia said farmers were facing severe shortages of water and electricity and if situation prevails the country would face food crisis.