KARACHI - Pakistan has been incurring a loss of about $ 3 billion per annum on account of infrastructure and industrial corrosion and it needs a comprehensive National Strategy for corrosion control. This was stated by the engineers and experts at a conference on Corrosion, Prevention and Management, organised by National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) at a local hotel here Thursday. They said that the losses of corrosion could be minimised by creating awareness among the society about its damages and by using new technologies for corrosion prevention. Senior Sindh Minister Syed Sardar Ahmed said that corrosion was a neglected subjected in the government quarters and there was no plan for its prevention. He said industrial sector faces huge losses due to corrosion, as the replacement of costly machinery is an expensive business. Similarly, billions of rupees of public money is lost due to corrosion in infrastructure facilities, like water supply and sewerage pipelines, bridges, etc. He appreciated the efforts of the organisers for highlighting an issue, which was never taken up before and advised the participants of the conference to suggest ways and means to control corrosion. The minister said that the government was working hard to control administrative and governance corrosion, which was eating away the vitals. Sardar Ahmed said that the experts had already pointed out about the shortage of electricity 20 years ago but the people at the helm of affairs did not pay attention to this vital issue. Consultant Corrosion Engineering Dr Arjumand Akhtar said that 22 percent of corrosion losses could be controlled by utilising new technology and creating awareness. Use of fiber glass and coating are some of the recommended methods to prevent corrosion, he added. Quoting an assessment report, he said that roughly 3 percent of the GNP is lost every year in Pakistan due to corrosion in industrial, infrastructure and household sectors. He said that the extent of losses has been calculated on the basis of Gross National Product (GNP) of 2004-2005, which is about $105.28b. He said that corrosion management starts at the designing stage and lot of damages can be prevented. Dr Akhtar said that only two gas utility companies were strictly adhering to the corrosion control methods because they are managing high-pressure gas pipelines. President Institute of Engineers Pakistan Eng Zafar Zubair underlined the need for chalking out the national strategy to control corrosion. He said that the corrosion control was necessary as it enhances the cost of the project. He underlined the need for the adoption of anti-corrosion measures at the time of designing of infrastructure projects. M Naeem Qureshi President NFEH, Kalim Siddiqui of Bosicor Pakistan, Dr Shahid Alam, Midhat Ali Jaffery M Yousuf Memon, Ahmed Moin Uddin, Liaquat Raza, Anees Ansari, Rare Admiral (R) Abid Mujtaba and Prof. Khurshid Mehmood also talked about corrosion management, precautions and controls.