LAHORE - A two-day Lahore Science Fair 2017 concluded yesterday with a thought provoking symposium on history and future of Indus Basin, urging Pakistan and India to protect the water, a lifeline to culture, economy, and technology of both the countries.
The symposium was organised by Center for Water Informatics and Technology (WIT) operated from Syed Baber Ali School of Science and Engineering, Lums in collaboration with Khwarizmi Science Society. A large number of people from all segments of society visited the concluding ceremony.
Speakers said: “Historically, water was used as a weapon and conflicts should be avoided and settle down peacefully because water is surely a lifeline of the people living in both the countries.”
Dr David Gilmartin from North Carolina State University launched his book titled ‘Blood and Water: The Indus River in Modern History’ published by California University Press. He said that British rule in subcontinent devised a canal system can be sensed from the quote of the then Punjab Chief Engineer to Indian Irrigation Commission S L Jacob in 1901: “Use every drop of available water as far as possible, every bid of land which needs water to be irrigated if possible, even if the schemes be costly.” He said Indian premier Nehru named water dams as ‘temples of India’.
He said with 1947 partition, Indus Basin also divided but later both the countries engaged in controversies. “In India Bhakra Dam through which Rajasthan Canal was dig out stirred controversy between Indian Punjab and Rajasthan. Same controversy stirred between Punjab and Haryana states on Sutlej Yamuna link canal. To avoid this, do not let away water from its original course which will disturbed the Indus Bain ultimately.
On Pakistan side, he said, Chasma-Jehlum link canal stirred controversy and Sindh and Punjab leaders often exchange words over the usage of water. Pakistan dug out BRB canal after partition. “Sindh has manipulated water of Indus River sometimes,” he maintained.
Moreover, the speakers stressed the need for planning because this region was facing severe shortage of water. “Not only should the Indus Basin system be reviewed with improvements but also the irrigation system of the country to be overhauled.”
Dr Imran Ali from Karachi School of Business and Leadership said at present we are doing water management without having any water.
Syed Baber Ali of Lums was of the view that a thought provoking discussion on the Indus Basin would be beneficial for academic community, development agencies and policy makers. He thanked people for showing their participation in a serious issue.
A 9th grade LDA Model School student Bushra Khurram displayed her solar energy panel that showed her expertise in the energy sector and how to resolve loadshedding.
Lums student Hashim told that the centre prepared a vehicle with instruments installed that could easily detect buildings, people walking or travelling on the roads and it could be used for spying suspicious activities. Moreover, this car could also detect road condition. The government agencies can utilize this data for different purposes, he added.
A ten year old boy of the Adbastan Soofia Model School Huzair Awan also presented his science models that gathered public attention. One was the driverless car.
At a stall by Allama Iqbal Medical College, Dr Imran told about different body functions like heart, lungs, brain, intestines, arteries and veins etc. Moreover, different original body parts were also displayed there. They also displayed smokers’ lungs and told harms of tobacco or cigarettes.
A UET student Asfand Yar displayed his spider robot that could detect humans during any calamity. The Rescue 1122 can also utilised this technology to detect human beings during collapse of buildings etc.
Moreover, Lums department of Biology Huma Hasan also exhibited infiltration in plants. The injection, she told, were used to cure tobacco plants from different diseases.
PCSIR also set up their stall at the fair and displayed their low cost laboratory equipment made by Centre for the development of Laboratory Equipment.
Khwarizmi Science Society Joint Secretary Dr Muhammad Sabeh Anwar talking to The Nation said that this year the public response was overwhelming.