Water policy to ensure efficient management

First-ever road map to be released on March 22


Zahid Chaudhary

All is set to launch the country’s first ever water policy on 22nd of this month which is aimed at introducing an Integrated Water Management for addressing water related challenges. The Minister for Water Resources, Javed Ali Shah told the National Assembly during questions hour on Wednesday that it was the first time in the country’s history that a water policy had been formulated covering all aspects including conservation and storage. The Minister said that a steering committee will oversee the implementation of water policy.
Javed Ali Shah said that the ground breaking of Munda Dam will be performed next month in Mohmand Agency. It will help generate 800 megawatts of electricity besides irrigating 16700 acres of land. He said funds are available for this project and efforts will be made to complete it at the earliest. Responding to a call attention notice, Minister for Water Resources Javed Ali Shah said that water is being distributed among the provinces in accordance with Water Accord of 1991. He said the share of Sindh province was 19 thousand cusecs but it was given over nineteen thousand and one hundred cusecs.
He categorically made it clear that the government has no desire to shift the water share of one province to the other. Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf told the House that transparency and fairness is being ensured in hajj balloting. He clarified that there is no hajj quota for the Prime Minister, the Ministers or the Parliamentarians. The Minister said that this year three hundred and seventy-five thousand people applied to perform hajj under the government scheme. He said that given the arrangements put in place by the Ministry of Religious Affairs at the Holy Land and its economy package, majority of people desire to perform hajj under the government scheme. This, he said, is the reason that we have decided that 67 percent people will perform hajj under government scheme while 33 percent under private hajj operators. He, however, said that the private hajj operators have moved the court against this decision. He assured the court’s decision on the matter will be implemented.
The Minister of State for Maritime Affairs Jaffer Iqbal told the House that Gwadar port is in the development phase and it will become a profitable entity in the next two to three years. He said that modern machinery has been placed at the port to load and offload the goods from containers. Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir laid before the House “The Joint Maritime Information Organization Bill, 2018. He said the bill is aimed at establishing an institution to consolidate all the information pertaining to maritime affairs. He said that relevant suggestions of the Parliamentarians will be incorporated in the bill. Later, the chair referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.

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