ISLAMABAD - Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Wednesday said Pakistan would face the worst water crisis, if construction work on reservoirs were not completed in time.

Chairing an important meeting regarding the construction of four dams, he said water resources were the lifeline of nation and country, and any negligence in the construction of reservoirs could not be afforded.

Khursheed Shah said, “In spite of the fact that we are here for a year, we will work on a war footing to complete the reservoirs.”

He asked all the quarters concerned to immediately prepare the feasibility report of a  tunnel to be built on the Diamer-Bhasha Dam. All the institutions should apprise the tentative time and estimated cost about it after thorough consultation with the National Engineering Services Pakistan, he added.

Regarding Daimer-Bhasha, Dasu, Thakot and Pattan dams, the minister was told by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) officials that the National Highway Authority (NHA) had not undertaken feasibility of any other highway except Karakorm Highway (KKH) to connect the four dams.

The KKH was an important highway, but the NHA had not yet started work on its up-gradation, they added.

Likewise, they said, the construction work on the 24 km link road of Thor Nala Bypass near the Daimer-Bhasha Dam was also pending though it was decided that the NHA would complete it by June 30.

WAPDA had paid all the required funds to the departments concerned but they were seeking eight months more to complete the road, he added.

Khursheed Shah expressed annoyance over construction of dams at a snail’s pace.

NHA Chairman Muhammad Khurram Agha, Water Resources Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, WAPDA Chairman Naveed Asghar Chaudhry and other officials attended the meeting.