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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain has said that wastage of water continues unabated which can turn the country into a desert.

All the rivers should be saved from dying; otherwise, the country will become a desert in which there will be no agriculture and the industry will also collapse, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan ranks 80th out of 122 countries in terms of quality of drinking water, and people of most parts of the country are forced to drink contaminated water.

He said that now the Ravi River, the most important river for Punjab, has been included in the list of the three most polluted rivers in the world as per a study conducted by a UK university in which 258 rivers located in 104 countries were categorised.

Increasing pollution in Ravi has increased the risks to the people and the economy which must be noted as numerous pharmaceutical and other companies are dumping waste into this river while human and agricultural waste and toxic chemicals are also being released in this river.

The water of the Ravi River falls into the Indus River and this tributary is adding poison to it which is a great threat to the people and agriculture, he said.

This situation is not limited to Ravi but the condition of other rivers, streams, springs and lakes is also continuously deteriorating as proper attention has not been paid.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that a few decades ago floods would clean rivers every year which was a natural arrangement that would result in better yields and improved water table.

The farmers would welcome floods but engineers would try to stop floods by constructing dams, barrages, etc.

Floods were stopped through a host of measures that affected yields and declined groundwater levels, leading to increased dependence and unnecessarily increased prices of agricultural commodities. Many countries around the world protect rivers from human, industrial and agricultural waste and take various measures to raise groundwater levels so that life can be maintained but in Pakistan, only talks are held in this regard, he regretted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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