SYED MOHAMMAD TAHIR LAHORE The Wapda has been giving proposals for building of new water reservoirs for last 20 years but no governments pay attention towards the suggestions and resultantly consumers have to pay now the highest rate of electricity in the region. Former Chairman Wapda Shamsul Mulk was speaking at a seminar on 'Shortage of energy and its solution held at Hameed Nizami Hall here on Wednesday. Other speakers included LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Pepco DG Mohammad Khalid and SNGPL GM Rehan Nawaz. Former Chairman Wapda said that Wapda team forwarded plans for the construction of new water reservoirs many times but policy makers never gave importance to these suggestions. He said though Pakistan got independence in 1947 but people were not given independence. He said that he always quoted that Our decision-makers should not be victims of wrong decisions. He claimed that he anticipated at least two decades ago that a time would come when there would be no electricity for our industry. Wapda is getting over Rs 250 billion as subsidy despite the fact it has hiked tariff enormously. He said Wapda team warned government repeatedly that after giving rights of water of three rivers to India, how long remaining three rivers would carry out irrigation and electricity necessities of Pakistan. He said that he along with Wapda team visited Sindh in 1994 and informed CM Sindh that if Kalabagh Dam was not built in time, provinces would fight each other on water issue. Being tale ender, Sindh province would abuse Punjab, while Punjab would use foul language against KP and KP would, eventually, call names of Wapda management for stealing water. But the fact would be that there would be no water in rivers, he added. He regretted that authorities concerned never listen to Wapdas proposals and preferred to give attention to astute politicians who not only misled the nation but also put them into darkness, he added. He maintained that politics of our country is not for people rather it is for personal gains. LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik while negating government static regarding losses due to shortage of electricity and gas supply, said that country economy experienced over Rs1,136b losses due to loadshedding in just four months. It is pity, he said, that Punjab 68,000 units are being affected badly due to outages of power and gas. He pointed out that in 1985 countrys 70 per cent electricity was produce through water (hydel) and rest of the power generated through oil or coal. But, unfortunately, instead of we made progress in this regard, the position has entire changed. After 26 years, now we are generating over 70 per cent electricity through thermal units using oil while rest of 30 per cent is being produced through hydel projects. He said it is strange that we are wasting water into ocean and not chalking out to produce electricity through hydel projects. He question either economies of developing country like us can afford $100 per barrel for the generating of electricity. It is a curse that instead of hydel projects, vested interested lobbies of international level have initiated thermal projects in our country to keep Pakistan dependent country of Arab and Western countries, he added. SNGPL GM Rehan Nawaz said that amazingly country has had 1,35,000 km pipeline network which is not feasible as developed countries supply LPG gas for domestic purposes. Qatar which has world largest gas fields never supply natural gas through pipes. Instead people uses LPG gas cylinders for domestic purposes. He was of the view that there is no shortage of gas in country and new wells are being explored but population and winter season are big hindrances for the proper and smooth supply of gas. He said if we want that our country get progress, we have to change our priorities, he added. Pepco DG Mohammad Khalid said according to short term plan we should adopt energy conservation plan which needs no investment as one megawatt save is better than to generate a megawatt. He estimated that if every citizen switched off his one bulb, 197MW could be saved and converted to industrial sector that could not only generate employment but also other resources.