LAHORE - A former director general of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission says the government should build small dams to overcome the existing energy crisis, as a result of which thousands of industrial units have gone out of production, dealing a serious blow to economy. Mr Bashiruddin Mehmud said this while talking to TheNation on Sunday that the electricity requirements could be met by operating all power stations according to their capacity. He said Pakistan had installed capacity of 21,000 MW while the demand was much less. In his opinion the hydel power was the best for the country because it cost much less than the one produced from other sources. Thermal units, he said, were not affordable as the cost of fuel was going up with the passage of time. He said at present 60 per cent electricity was being produced by thermal power stations and 40 per cent by hydel projects. In the beginning, he said, the ratio should be reversed to reduce the cost of production and bring down the electricity bills. Mr Bashiruddin said the government was the biggest defaulter of the PEPCO and the situation could improve if it cleared all its dues. Answering to a question, he said although nuclear power was good for the country, its initial cost was very high. According to him, generation of one mega watt could cost $2 million or even more. He said the government must step up efforts to evolve national consensus on projects like Kalabagh Dam and address the reservations expressed by smaller provinces. He expressed serious concern over the wastage of water because of lack of reservoirs. Mr Bashiruddin said the government should also restore seepage ponds in rural areas to prevent the water table from going down. In response to a question, he said the government could spare resources for important projects by doing away with wasteful expenditure. Import of unnecessary items should be banned and nobody should be allowed to go abroad for treatment facilities for which were available at home.