LAHORE - Economic growth of Pakistan is not possible without resolving water and energy crises while construction of big water reservoirs is inevitable for the survival of Pakistan.

These views were expressed by Eng. Bashir A. Malik, Former Chief Technical Advisor of United Nations and World Bank, during a conference organized by Save Water Save Pakistan Forum on the topic of “Water and energy crises in Pakistan and their solution” at TECH Club.

Bashir A Malik said Punjab province is the direct affectee of Indus Water Treaty, reducing 33 million acre feet water of Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers. He said that 8 percent of the total available water resources of Pakistan were used for domestic use while 92 percent for irrigation.

Eng. Shafqat Masood, Former Chairman IRSA, Qayyum Nizami, Former Minister of State, Prof. Abdul Qayyum Qureshi, Former Vice Chancellor Islamia University Bahawalpur, Eng. Mansoor Ahmed, Former MD Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Foundation, Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, Agricultural Scientist, Eng. M. Saeed Khan, Former GM Kalabagh Dam project, Eng. Mian Muhammad Ashraf, Former GM Tarbela Dam and Zubair Sheikh, President TECH Club also spoke on the occasion.

Speakers pinpointed that Pakistan had not been able to build even a single large dam after Tarbela dam project initiated in 1976 whereas India had built more than 33 large dams during this period. If Kalabagh dam project is not built there will be irreparable loss to the water and energy sector of Pakistan for which our new generation will not forgive us, they said.

Participants of Save Water Save Pakistan Forum conference demanded in their recommendations that construction of at lease five big dams, including Munda dam, Kurram Tangi dam, Akhori dam and Kalabagh dam, at least by 2025 to store water and generate electricity was inevitable for the very survival of Pakistan. 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, they said. 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 can also recommended steps like demand management through population planning, irrigation demand control and water conservation for interim relief from food scarcity and loadshedding.

Eng. Bashir A. Malik, Chairman of Save Water Save Pakistan Forum, informed that he had initiated a campaign to resolve the water and energy crises for which a delegation of the forum would 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.