Water crisis, impact and management

DESPITE STRONG words and announcements made by our previous governments, nothing has been done to counter the water crisis.Water is a source of life but, unfortunately, Pakistan is in the grip of its scarcity. The aggravating crisis is gnawing at the public mind and, regrettably, it has considerably contributed towards straining national harmony. There are no signs of tiding over this grim situation. With the gradual depletion of water resources, the precarious situation is further embittered by

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The tight GSPA

THERE IS more than 400 mmcfd gas available from the already developed gasfields in Sindh like Sinjhoro, Maher, Kandanwari, Kunnar Pashaki that has been awaiting to be connected to the transmission grid for the last five years.However, our optimistic adviser of Petroleum and Natural Resource has given us breaking news of a Gas Sales, Purchase Agreement (GSPA) between the SSGC and the Turkish firm whereby the SSGC will lay a 52-km pipeline worth Rs.325m to bring 30 mmcfd of tight gas into the

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CNG for vehicle: Blessing or burden

THE CONSUMPTION of natural gas for non-industrial purposes is fairly high in Pakistan. Transport and household consumers do not make any positive impact on GDP, however, put a heavy burden on natural gas reserve. If you see the pattern of natural gas consumption in developed countries, you would find that more gas is being consumed in industries.Industries like fertilizers, power plants and refineries require a sufficient amount of gas. These industries are facing acute shortage of gas which is

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Use and misuse of electricity

WE ALL are well aware of the energy crisis, be it the causes or adverse effects of it. But this is to only show one side of the coin.Regularly, I notice that streetlights remain on for many hours even after the sun has risen. I wonder if this is a case of over-efficiency or sheer carelessness.Blaming the government for this is not right. Electricity is also being wasted and misused at homes, institutions, workplaces, malls, restaurants, etc.In institutions and workplaces, ACs, heavy-watt lights

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Alternative to YouTube

A LOT of people are arguing about the ban on YouTube. I would rather say that it is time for some entrepreneurs in Pakistan to come forward and start a video sharing website where people can upload videos.As far as the availability of the technical and international content is concerned, the more people would use it, the more contents we would have.Anyone who has some video that can be helpful should upload that for others to use it.So, when the market is set and the need is identified why not

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Cellphones and children

CELLPHONE IS one of the products of the modern technologies. Different companies have launched their phones for all classes. The usage of cellphones due to their cheaper prices has become common. For adults, it is acceptable, but for children it is a waste of time. It also distracts their attention which results in loss of education. This also leads to other undesirable activities.Moreover, the use of cellphone has increased the menace of cheating during school and college exams. If, according

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Fixing wheat support price

PAKISTAN is an agricultural state, thus agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy. It’s significance is manifold as it provides food to the people, raw materials to industry and is a base for earning foreign exchange through foreign trade. Wheat is the most important staple crop of the country. Also, the burgeoning cost of inputs had compelled the farmers to cultivate and produce for self-consumption rather than the nation. Such food scarcity had resulted in food inflation in the

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Remembering Azmat Ali Khan

THE death (Oct 22) of Azmat Ali Khan, the founder of Bazm-i-Sciency Adab, is another major loss for the nation. He was a man of great calibre. His efforts to promote science and art had won him respect not only in Pakistan but also abroad.He served the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan as managing editor for their journal for many years and was instrumental in getting it indexed in the Medline/PubMed, which brought this journal in the row of international journals.He tutored a

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Ban on YouTube vs students

THIS REFERS to the ban on YouTube by the PTA on the advice of the government.Even though violence after the release of the blasphemous video on YouTube is condemnable, it must be realised that the ban on YouTube has adverse effects on students.I use YouTube for my MBA studies. As a result of this ban in Pakistan, informative and academic videos are not available to aspirants of higher education as well.By banning YouTube, we are effectively prohibiting spread of knowledge and information. By

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Bt Corn in Pakistan: Unanswered questions

WE KEEP hearing that introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) or Bt Corn in Pakistan will provide the following benefits:•  Increase Corn yields•  Reduce Pesticide usage•  Financial benefit for farmersHowever, the following questions remain un-answered;•  To-date, no seed company or government institution has bothered to address the issue of cross-pollination contamination or its prevention due to Bt Corn in Pakistan.•  Corn/Maize production data since the year 2000 to date. This

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Pakistan continues with controversial plan to turn coal into diesel

PAKISTAN IS pushing ahead with a controversial plan to produce synthetic diesel through underground gasification of its vast coal deposits in the Thar desert in Sindh province. According to the precise estimates, the Thar carries the world’s second biggest coal deposits amounting to around 185 billion tons which have the cost of three trillion dollars in the international market.However, the Thar Underground Coal Gasification project had hung in the balance for the last 14 months following the

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Lifting ban on YouTube

THE FEDERAL government should lift the ban on YouTube. Many people, especially students, are suffering because of this ban. Some of these students seek YouTube help to complete their academic assignments. Would it not be better to educate people to inculcate self-discipline and self-control so that they restrain themselves from watching the movie in question? The government should adopt a proper regulatory mechanism to handle such a situation in future. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

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Unnecessary use of pesticides

PAKISTAN IS an agricultural country where different crops are cultivated according to the season and the region. Some of the major crops grown here include cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, banana and sunflower, but how do we protect and safeguard them from harmful pests and diseases? Being a plant protectionist, I would suggest that we should apply and use all safeguarding measures which have been recommended by experts. Chemicals control shows quick results and that is why farmers and

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Protracted strangulation of PCSIR

ADVANCEMENT OF science and technology is the key to the development. Pakistan has tried to keep up with the times but seems to be going under on several other issues. They have grievously neglected a large institute which only serves science; Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). Scientists working in this Council, with the limited available infrastructure, have been striving to put in their best. However, the treatment being meted out to them in return speaks for

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Testing Aquamax, Artesian technologies for corn

PIONEER SEED Company (Dupont) and Syngenta have developed the Aquamax and Artesian technologies to develop drought tolerant Corn.These technologies have been developed using the Old school’ germ plasm breeding techniques. Monsanto on the other hand is working to develop Droughtgard’ which depends on genetic modification and maybe available in 2013-14 and is likely to be more expensive than Pioneer or Syngenta. It is noted that Drought tolerant’ technology still requires water and thus

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Climate change and agriculture

AGRICULTURE IS the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy. According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2011-12, it is important for growth, exports, incomes, food security and industrialisation.It is the second largest sector of the economy and contributes about 21 per cent to the GDP, generates productive employment opportunities for 45 per cent of our labour force and 60 per cent of the rural population depend directly or indirectly on this sector for their livelihood.At present the agriculture system is

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Decommissioning of large dams

ACCORDING TO international rivers, on Aug 16, after nearly 10 years of campaigning, La Parota Dam, in Mexico, was officially cancelled. La Parota would have consisted of a 900 MW dam on the Papagayo River 28km from the city of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. It would have flooded close to 17,000 hectares of land, displaced more than 25,000 people, and affected another 75,000 people downstream of the dam.Earlier in July the Belo Monte Dam construction was halted by the Brazilian court, until

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