Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the new coming government to implement water-pricing regime to overcome water crisis in Pakistan. The meeting was held yesterday on the theme: “Shortage of Water, dangerous situation, immediate remedy and need to increase water reservoirs”, chaired by Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi at a local club.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Muhammad Rafi said that there was a huge wastage of water in the country, because of not fixation of water price in our country while it is being sold on price everywhere in the world through water meter’s readings, therefore price of water should also be charged in our country in order to make people realized the value of water. When Pakistan was created the per capita ratio of water was 5,000 cubic meters, now it has been fell down to 1,000 only, if this situation is continued Pakistan would face severe shortage of water in 2025, he added.
‘There is no water management policy; effective population control planning and proper arrangement of water storage in the country, Egypt can store water for 800 days, Pakistan only for 30 days; even Maldives has started to store rain water, but Pakistan not, he lamented and added:’ We can do it by making water ponds on empty places’, he said.
We should come out from blame game and make perfect water management systems, start re-cycling of water and change salty sea water into sweet water, because a human being could live without electricity, but not water, he asserted.
Mrs. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan while participating in the discussion said, to inculcate the importance and value of water in the minds of people, we should begin it from children teaching them ‘how to value and use water with economy’ and it must be made a part of their training at schools and other educational institutions. Essays on value and importance of water in human life, highlighting the Islamic concept about water, should be included in children’s syllabus, so that they could understand the value of water in their early age, she added.
Prof. Dr. Akhlaque Ahmed, former Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi was of the view that apart from being an agriculture country, Pakistan should have stridden to have technologies because it was modern technology which gave great rise to agriculture.
Justiace (Rtd) Zia Pervez lamented that in spite of severe shortage of water in the country we had failed to evolve consensus on Kalabagh dam, because of our inner weakness that we could not discuss a national issue with open heartedly; moreover some countries didn’t want that this dam should be made. However, we should not avoid discussing this important matter of national interest, he added.
General (Rtd) Sikandar Hayat said that most part of our water went to agriculture and a big chunk of this water got perished due to the huge seepage in irrigating canals. USA has the capacity to store water of 900 days, India 90 and Pakistan only 30 which was the result of mismanagement and misgovernance of Pakistani governments and now there was no way, but to develop water reservoirs, start recycling of water and conservation of canals’ water and minimize the domestic use of water, he added.
Brig (Rtd) Riazul Haq was of the opinion that new resources of water should be discovered and people and farmers be taught to use water with economy and start drip-irrigation system in cultivation of crops.
Engineer Pervez Sadiq said: ‘We are a wasteful nation and waste lavishly everything, including water in daily use and agriculture. We are failed to stop leakage in irrigating canals. We do not teach our farmers how to use minimum water to grow crops. We should, anyhow, come to conservation of water; prevent the water theft and monitor the use of water as monitoring would bring forth many corruptions and evil-practices’, he suggested.
Brig (Rtd) Dr. Iqbal Ahmed said that India was making dam after dam on our rivers, because of her occupation on India held Kashmir and neglection on our part to the important national matter such as water since we had not made a solid national policy yet on water and water managent, which was a dire need of the hour. For water is the first and foremost need, after air, for every living thing, he added.
Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi on this occasion questioned why we would not be able to convert sea water into sweet water in the face of intense shortage of water so far? Whereas many countries were doing the same successfully, he remarked.
‘It can be done, but first of all we should make an estimate of the plant’s cost and arrangements for money to purchase and install it. The cost of making sea water sweet would be near about Rs. 4.00 per gallon, informed Engineer Pervez Sadiq.
Muhammed Usman Damohi, Huma Baig, Dr. Abubakr Sheikh and Anwar Aziz Jakartawala also spoke.