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Imran Khan want comprehensive water plan on priority basis

27 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday directed Ministry of Water Resources and Planning Division to coordinate with the provincial governments and formulate a comprehensive plan with delineated timelines for undertaking urban water schemes for all major cities on priority basis.

Chairing a briefing on Ministry of Water Resources at the Prime Minister’s Office, Imran Khan directed that water supply schemes for Rawalpindi and Islamabad by the Punjab and the federal governments should be started immediately. He underscored the need for an integrated planning and enhanced coordination between relevant departments like WADPA, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Energy, Planning Division and other stakeholders while planning and executing major projects of national importance.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed in detail about overall situation regarding the availability of water in the country, situation of storage of water and issues being faced in ensuring water security for a growing population of the country. He was informed that the current water storage capacity of around 13.7 million acre feet (maf) was far below the international standards and needed to be enhanced on the priority basis. He was also informed that there was an urgent need to check unregulated extraction of ground water which had resulted into fast depletion of aquifers.

The prime minister directed that a comprehensive plan along with a legislative framework should be worked out for ensuring maximum utilization of the surface water and reversing the existing trend of unabated pumping of groundwater.

Discussing the obstacles in construction of Dasu Dam, the prime minister directed that the issue of acquisition of land and settlement with the affectees should be resolved on priority basis in consultation with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and taking into account legitimate demands of the affectees. He emphasized that the Land Acquisition Act, 1984, needed to be revisited in order to make it more relevant with the present time. He also directed that a comprehensive plan should be formulated to promote off-grid solutions including harnessing of solar and wind potential of the country.

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