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Pakistan HEC to Propose Setting Up of a Taskforce to Deal with Balochistan Water Crisis

  • Pakistan, September 17, 2018: Chairing a meeting on academia’s role in addressing water crisis in Balochistan at the Commission Secretariat recently, Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman, Dr. Tariq Banuri stated that the commission will propose setting up a taskforce to deal with the challenge of water scarcity in Balochistan.

    The decision will be finalised after discussion with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, he added.

    The meeting was aimed at contemplating on the prevailing scenario, challenges and future opportunities regarding ground water recharge, water reservoirs, water usage efficiency, clean drinking water, and water resource management.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr Tariq Banuri expressed deep concern over the prevailing water crisis in Balochistan and assured of support from the academia. He said Balochistan CM Kamal Khan places high priority on addressing the issue. He added that the HEC and universities need to come forward to present a joint plan of action for solution to the issue.

    It was decided in the meeting that the HEC will propose to the province to set up a taskforce, assisted by a technical committee, to help resolve the issue.

    “The Task Force will be a joint body and will help formulate water policy and execute it, while the technical committee will undertake research, collect data, assess and determine research gap and identify areas that need attention,” Tariq Banuri explained.

    The meeting participants agreed that the Task Force will comprise vice chancellors and representatives of centres of excellence and advanced studies in water. They suggested that the Task Force must develop terms of reference based on modalities and feasibility of the plan, while the technical committee must undertake research and identify the areas that require attention.

    They also emphasised the need for capacity building of organisations and centres working on water resource management. They expressed concerns that there are over 42,000 tube wells in Balochistan and only 450 of them are registered. This is one of the major causes of water depletion and causes electricity burden as well, they underlined. They stressed the need for creating awareness among people about hazards of wasting water.