LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over severe water scarcity in the biggest dams of the country, saying the crisis will directly hit agriculture and power sectors.
In a statement, LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan said Pakistan was an agrarian country and it could not afford water shortage at any cost. However, no strategy has been evolved to tackle the major issue.
They said the country depended on only two major dams – Tarbela and Mangla – and it was a matter of concern that water storage capacity of the two reservoirs had significantly reduced.
“The ongoing water crisis is the result of a dispute over Kalabagh Dam while around 12 million acre feet of water is being wasted into the sea, which is equal to the capacity of the two big dams,” added the LCCI office-bearers.
They said as per World Bank analysis, “our storage capacity has gone down to 150 acre feet. India has improved its per capita storage up to 200 acre feet, which will improve further once under-construction dams start giving results.”
“The country is faced with damaging floods every two to three years, which adversely impact the economy,” the officials added. They urged the government to take steps for water conservation and its effective use, adding that it would reduce capital and operational costs.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2017.