QUETTA: Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri has taken notice of water shortage in Gwadar and told the Balochistan Development Authority to submit a report on why a water desalination plant in the city is not fully functional and how it can be repaired.

He issued the directive during a meeting with officials of various government departments in Gwadar on Saturday. He said water supply was the basic problem of Gwadar as the port city and adjoining areas were facing an acute shortage due to the drying up of Akra dam, the source of supply to the area, caused by lack of rain in its catchment area.

The chief minister said that resolving the issue was a priority of his government. To solve the problem on a permanent basis, more dams will be built and more water desalination plants installed in Gwadar.

He identified electricity shortfall as another major problem of Gwadar and pledged to take measure to solve it.

He said that the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would be completed in time to make the Gwadar deep seaport fully functional.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Zehri had visited Turbat, Talar and Gwadar along with Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif. They inspected ongoing development works and vowed to bring an end to water shortage in Makran division.

They said that no hindrance would be tolerated in water supply to Gwadar and asked the authorities concerned to furnish a report on construction of dams and installation of desalination plants to meet requirements of water.

Mr Zehri said that the army chief had assured him of the military’s cooperation in ensuring completion of major development projects in Makran.

He said that Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal had been approached for release of funds for ongoing projects in Gwadar, Turbat and other areas of Makran division. Mr Ahsan will pay a visit to Gwadar and other areas soon.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2016

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