Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday highlighted the issue of water scarcity, as he chaired the first meeting of National Water Council, and stressed the need to fulfil the growing demands of increasing population of the country.
The meeting held at the PM Office was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Power Minister Omar Ayub, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Minister for National Food Security Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, the chief ministers of all four provinces and senior bureaucrats.
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PM Khan emphasised upon following an integrated approach for conservation, storage, management and efficient utilisation of the available water resources. Pointing out that no significant attention was paid to water-related issues in the past, the premier underscored the need for chalking out a comprehensive road-map, in consultation with provinces and other stakeholders, for the implementation of National Water Policy.
The prime minister observed that the National Water Council would serve as an effective platform to discuss and develop consensus among the stakeholders on all issues pertaining to water resource management.
Water Resources Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja briefed all those in attendance, in detail, about the contours of the National Water Policy and the strategic priorities set in the policy. He also apprised everyone about the existing water availability and the planned future investments, especially towards the enhancement of the storage capacity.
Furthermore, the secretary presented various proposals regarding the implementation of National Water Policy.
The Wapda chairman also briefed the meeting about the progress on various projects of water storage and power generation.
The prime minister directed that the proposals be analysed by the steering committee under the Ministry for Water Resources. The steering committee will submit its recommendations in two weeks’ time.