Our survival depends on the construction of water reservoirs


Mumtaz Ahmed Bhatti

Water scarcity in Pakistan is becoming alarming. Underground water is going down every day. Residents of all major cities of Pakistan including Lahore, Quetta, Rawalpindi and Islamabad are facing severe water shortage. Quetta’s underground water has gone below a thousand feet. Residents of all major cities of Pakistan use the water brought by tanker by buying it at high prices. The water shortage is increasing day by day and the situation is getting serious but the government is not paying attention to The serious situation of water shortage can be improved only by preventing wastage of water, Construction of check dams to recharge underground water and Construction of water reservoirs. The government is taking steps to overcome water scarcity but is not paying the attention it needs.

The federal and provincial governments are taking the same steps that are being taken worldwide to prevent the water crisis, but how serious are the federal and provincial governments in implementing these measures and is this one of their priorities? Governments’ priorities have always been their next election, so every government focuses on link roads, Soling and drains. Construction of water reservoirs to prevent water crisis. Awareness raising, lining of canals and watercourses and repair of barrages are done to prevent wastage of water and this is done on an emergency basis. And this is how it works for the water crisis in Pakistan. About the projects that were started by the federal government. Irrigation System Rehabilitation Project, (Phase-I) this project approved by ECNEC on 7.01.2004, the estimated cost was Rs. 19519.000 million. 7501.359 million Funds were released till 30.06.2021.

Less than half the funds were released in 18 years. If funds were released at this speed, the project would be completed in 40 years. Lining of Irrigation Channels Distributaries & Minors This project for Punjab was approved by ECNEC on 07.01.2004 at an estimated cost of Rs 30996.200 million and Rs. 7012.230 million were released till 30.06.2021.Rs 7012.230 million were released in eighteen years. If funds were released at this speed then this project would be completed in 75 years.

The project for Lining of Distributaries and Minors in Sindh was approved by ECNEC on 30.03.2009 and its estimated cost was Rs. 13828.322 million. Rs. 11807.754 million were released till 30.06.2021. When the PTI government came, it stopped the funds of this project and issued an order to close this project. Many experts said that all the work done so far will be ruined and such a large amount of money will be lost, but no one listened to the experts. Rainee Canal Project (Phase-I) Ghotki Sukkur and Khairpur was approved by ECNEC on 18.02.2004. Its estimated cost was Rs. 20533.836 Million. Due to the slow release of funds, this project has been under construction for more than 18 years. No one still knows when it will be completed.Rehabilitation of Irrigation System in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was approved by ECNEC on 24.08.2006. The estimated cost was Rs. 8484.230 million and Rs. 5392.029 million were released till 30.06.2021. This project has been ongoing for 16 years. Construction of 100 Small Dams in Baluchistan Package (3) was approved by ECNEC on 03.09.2016 with an estimated cost of Rs. 7829.874 million and Rs. 5551.454 million were released till 30.06.2021.

 This project has been ongoing  from six years. Construction of Ghabir Dam Chakwal was approved by ECNEC on 04.09.2015 and its estimated cost was Rs.5655.493 million. Rs.1587.252 million were released till 30.06.2021. According to this calculation, this project will be completed in 30 years. Construction of 20 Small Dams 9 approved schemes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were approved by ECNEC on 11.04.2005. The estimated cost was Rs. 4363.062 million and Rs. 4122.236 million were released till 30.06.2021. The project has been under construction for 17 years. Construction of Mangi Dam, Quetta was approved by ECNEC on 08.03.2016. The estimated cost was Rs. 4667.039 million. 3920.760 million have been released till 30.06.2021. Construction of Small Storage Dams, Delay Action Dams, Recharge Weirs and I.S.S.O Barriers in Sindh Project were approved by CDWP on 12.01.2009. The estimated cost was Rs. 12211.000 million. on 30.06.2021, Rs. 8931.465 million were released. It has been thirteen years since this project started.

10 Small Storage Check Dams Orange Area, Wadh District Khuzdar, 100 Dams in Districts / Districts of Baluchistan, 100 Small Dams in Dobandi Tehsil, GulistanQila Abdullah, 200 Dams in Qila Abdullah, District in Gulistan and Dobandi Tehsil, Dale Area Quetta, Khattak Banda Dam, ShakarDaraKoha District, Makh Banda Dam, Karak District, Wonder Dam, Lasbela District, Daroga Dam Project Jamshoro / Dadu, Garuk Storage Dam District Kharan, NaiGaj Dam Project Dadu Sindh, Knowling Storage Dam ۔ All these small dams are under construction. Apart from these small dams, the four provincial governments are also constructing small dams. Neither the federal government nor the provincial governments are releasing funds on time for any of the small dams projects nor are they providing the required funds. The number of PSDP projects in Baluchistan is also high and the provision of funds is a bit better here due to the struggle of Coordinator PSDP Projects Chief Engineer Bashir Khan Tareen. The situation of water crisis is eye-opening. The government should immediately pay full attention to water crisis. Provide funds to all small and large water reservoirs that are under construction to complete them on time and start work wherever it is feasible to construct water reservoirs.