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Gwadar may face severe water shortage

Updated December 10, 2016


QUETTA: The port city of Gwadar may face a serious water crisis in the coming days as the water level in the Ankara Kaur dam has reached the dead level.

Provincial authorities in Quetta have received a Mayday call from officials concerned about the seriousness of the water shortage problem in Gwadar.

The rain-filled Ankara Kaur dam is the main source of water for Gwadar, Pasni, Jewani and their adjacent villages.

Steps for making alternative arrangements for water supply to the port city suggested

According to district authorities, water storage left in the dam can fulfil requirement of only two more weeks. They have suggested steps for making alternative arrangements for water supply to the port city.

After receiving reports about the water shortage problem in Gwadar, Balochistan Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah visited the port city on Thursday and presided over a meeting which discussed alternative arrangements for water supply to the city.

Deputy Commissioner of Gwadar Dr Tufail Ahmed Baloch briefed the meeting on the gravity of the situation. He said if immediate measures were not taken for alternative water supply the situation would worsen.

Mr Chattah took serious notice of the situation and issued directives for making alternative arrangements for water supply to Gwadar. He directed officials concerned to make a plan for the purpose.

He said the government would ensure water supply to Gwadar through tankers from Shadi Kaur and Belmar dams near Pasni.

He said there was need for a comprehensive planning to solve the water shortage problem of Gwadar and asked relevant departments to work in this direction by coordinating with each other.

Shakeel Baloch, an executive engineer in the Public Health Engineering Department, informed the meeting that through alternative arrangements Gwadar would be provided 1.5 million gallon water per day and Pasni and Jewani 600,000 and 300,000 gallon, respectively. He said the Ankara Kaur dam was close to drying up because its catchment areas had not received rains for many years.

The entire Makran belt is facing a drought-like situation due to the dry spell.

The meeting also discussed many other issues, including implementation of development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, Dostain Jamaldini, briefed the meeting on the Gwadar Port development programme. He said the CPEC would prove to be a game-changer for the economy of the region. The project, he added, would bring prosperity to the country, particularly Balochistan.

He said the pace of economic development in Gwadar had improved. The port city provided best investment opportunities, he added.

Inspector General of Police, Balo­chistan, Ahsan Mehboob, Secretary, Public Health Engineering, Sheikh Nawaz, Commissioner of Makran division Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai and Director General of the Gwadar Development Authority, Dr Sajjad Hussain Baloch, were among others who attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2016