Trade: (Political scuffle over KBD to make Pakistan a desert)

ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday asked politicians to end friction over construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD) which can transform fertile Pakistan into a desert.

He said government should immediately move to settle disputes over KBD without which future of the country seems bleak as demand and supply gap for water has reached alarming levels.

Politicians should settle their dispute in the larger national interest and government should declare water as most important issue of national security, he demanded.

He said climate change, decreasing glaciers and forests and water aggression by India, the country has been depleting groundwater in almost all its parts. He said different areas have been witnessing reduction in water table which has increased the cost of pumping water through tube wells making life difficult for farmers.

He said scarcity of water is to hurt entire agricultural chain creating problems like unemployment, food security and closure of industries.

Almost 145 million acre feet (MAF) water passes annually through country of which only 14 MAF could be stored enough for one month while international standard stood at three months of storage.

Pakistan’s population would be 250 million by 2025, demand for water would be at 338 billion cubic meter while availability would be 236 BCM creating many challenges.

Government should try to stop India from stealing our water, introduce new verities of seed requiring less water, train farmers to use less water and make reservoirs to store floodwater which will improve water table, said Butt.

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