ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources on Wednesday discussed in detail the looming water crisis in the country, especially Balochistan, after senators from the province expressed grave concern over the same.
Water Resources secretary and WAPDA chairman briefed the participants of the meeting that was presided by Chairman Shamim Afridi at the Parliament Lodges.
“WAPDA has completed projects in Balochistan on a priority basis. The first phase of Kachchi canal is complete whereas Balochistan has a facility of 72,000 cusecs of water,” the WAPDA chief said.
“The Balochistan government is delaying the construction of Hino Long Dam and has not even obtained an NOC for it yet. The Asian Development Bank had set obtaining an NOC as a prerequisite for a loan with regard to this dam.”
Senator Hasil Bazenjo said Balochistan’s water projects should be completed out of Chief Justice of Pakistan’s dams fund. “Diamir Bhasha and Mohmand dams cannot be constructed out of this fund,” he said.
Senator Usman Kakar said Balochistan was facing drought and an acute shortage of water. “Rs500 billion should be allocated in CPEC for water projects in Balochistan so that problems of the area can be resolved.”
Water Resources secretary told the committee that 83 different projects had been approved in the ongoing year.
“These water-related projects will cost Rs77 billion, but only Rs6 billion have been allocated for them in the current year. At this rate, the competition of the projects might take up to 30 years.”
Work, he said, would have to be done on war footing basis if water issues are to be sorted out in Balochistan.