President American Business Forum (ABF) Salim Ghauri has expressed concerns over diminishing water storage capacity in Pakistan due to lack of political consensus, leading to severe water shortage for the country ahead. President ABF said there is urgent need for developing new water reservoirs in country, as storage capacity of Tarbella, Mangla and Chashma has declined by 4.37 million acres feet (MAF) over the years, Ghauri said in a statement issued here on Friday.
He said the political leadership should deal with water situation as top priority when the average annual water inflows are good enough to build three more dams similar to the Diamer-Bhasha dam in the country. Salim said Pakistan and its economy have suffered heavily due to energy crisis, mainly due to absence of dams in the country.
He said the energy supply has hit hard many industrial areas where over 40 percent production capacities are idle because of unprecedented loadshedding in the country. He said the existing three dams including Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma are losing storage capacity fast because of sedimentation and silting and live water storage capacity is likely to drop considerable drop by the end of 2025. Salim has also urged the US government and other friendly countries to help out Pakistan in overcoming problems relating to infrastructure development for new storage capacities.
He has also welcomed a positive gesture by the Saudi government assuring Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to assist Pakistan in dealing with energy problems of Pakistan. He has also urged the business community to come forward and strengthen the hands of government in developing infrastructure for setting up LNG terminals before the start of its import. President ABF has, however, reinforced the need of developing new water storages in country to produce cheap electricity and meeting irrigation requirements of agrarian economy of Pakistan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012