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New dams to double water storage capacity, address issue of climate change: PM

ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the new under construction mega dams would eventually double water storage capacity of the country and help address issues related to the climate change.

  Speaking at a seminar on hydro power development, he said China had constructed 5000 dams but Pakistan had only two dams, built in the 1960s.

 “Due to this negligence, Pakistan suffered losses. As Pakistan is using imported fuel for electricity generation, whenever petrol prices go up in the international market, electricity prices also rise in Pakistan, thus enhancing burden on the public.

   “If we had generated hydro electricity, we would not have faced the present price hikes, triggered by increase in fuel prices,” he added.

   Pakistan had great potential for hydro electricity but it was generating half of its electricity from oil, he said. Unfortunately due to lack of long term planning, Pakistan was facing the current problems, he added.

   The Prime Minister noted that China was making rapid progress and its biggest strength was long term planning. “They do not think in terms of elections after every five years. I am proud that our government is making long term planning rather than thinking about elections.”

   “Today we are celebrating the decade of dams. We need water storage,” he said while observing that there were specific problems between provinces on account of water issues.

   Imran Khan said: “As our population is increasing, we have to cultivate more land. If there is no storage, how can we cultivate land?”

   “We have fertile land in DI Khan and we need only water. If we arrange water for land in DI Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will not need to get food or wheat from other provinces. Balochistan has millions of acres of uncultivated land and if we can arrange water, we can export cotton and other crops. Land is also available in

Thar.”

    Use of tunnel technology for dams was necessary in the country he said, adding its mountains were incomparable in the world and could help generate huge revenue from tourism.

   The mountainous area of Switzerland, half in size of northern areas of Pakistan, was generating revenue of $ 60-70 billion from tourism. Switzerland had the best tunnel technology which made their mountainous areas very accessible, he added.

  The Prime Minister said proposed Kalabagh dam was at a good site but people of Sindh would have to be convinced about the project otherwise anti-Pakistan forces would play up the water issue.

    “We have to scientifically explain to the people of Sindh that Kalabagh dam will be beneficial for them. We are a Federation and we should try to take provinces with us.”

   About recent meetings of opposition, he said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was battle hardened and now some panicked people, had started contacting personalities like Chaudhry Shujaat, instead of enquiring after his health.

     He said Chaudhry Shujaat had unmatchable political skills and he had full trust in his family.

    He appreciated Chairman Wapda Lt General (R) Muzammil Hussain for his dedication for construction of water reservoirs.






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