LCCI demands equitable sharing of Hub Dam water

Sameer Nazir
KARACHI:
President of Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ismail Suttar has demanded of the Minister of Water and Power to supply water to the Hub Industrial area from Hub Dam. He urged the minister to recognize the amplifying need of a growing industrial district of Lasbela that is suffering from severe shortage of water and is in dire need of relief.
He said that Hub Dam reservoir on Hub River was an inter-provincial project as it provides water to two provinces, Sindh and Balochistan. It was completed in June 1981 and since then Karachi and Lasbela district are the beneficiaries of Pakistan’s third largest dam. With the gross storage capacity of 857,000 acre feet, the dam was designed to supply 102 MGD of water to Karachi for municipal and industrial purposes and 59 MGD of water to Lasbela district making the water distribution ratio of 63.3% to 36.7%.
That ratio was determined years ago when Lasbela was a very small town with a population of about 150,000 people. During the years that number has grown and the population has now reached almost a million. It stands to reason then that the demand for water supply has now increased proportionately. Apart from that the district has gone through industrial development and many businesses have set up their factories in the area which has further augmented the demand for water. But due to the same formula in place the area is suffering from acute water shortage and has led to the people living a life of hardship. Karachi has multiple sources of water supply but the people of Lasbela only have the one. Therefore, more consideration needs to be given to them.
Due to CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), more Chinese investments are expected in the Lasbela district which will lead to more modern and state-of-art industries being set up. But for the area to have an appeal for the investors, the right infrastructure is of the utmost importance. And shortage of water will be an inadequacy in that infrastructure.
He called for action from the government and WAPDA and insists on immediate action to attend to the growing needs of Lasbela district and facilitate them accordingly. The distribution ratio should have been revisited periodically to prevent this situation from arising but now it is imperative that it be renegotiated as it fails to counteract the current demands of the people facing difficulty on a day-to-day basis.