Dam in greater national interest
THE recent development on the most disputed but the vital Kalabagh Dam (KBD) demands a mature approach and consensus from all political parties. They should think above provincialism for greater national interest.
It is a reality that no big dam except Tarbela has been made since the the inception of Pakistan. The energy crisis caused by the deficiency of electricity and gas can aptly be overcome by building KBD.
The dam is indispensable for the economy of Pakistan as, according to an estimate, it has the capacity of producing more than 20,000 megawatt of electricity.
The people to be displaced can be compensated by accommodating them in the settled areas on the format China adopted for its people affected by dam construction.
Some sacrifice will have to be rendered in the greater national interest.
The leaders should not exploit this issue for political point-scoring. If Pakistan is self -sufficient in fulfiling its requirements, eventually it will benefit us. We should divert our endeavours from hostilities to cooperation. All stakeholders like the government, the opposition, the masses and the media should extend their full support for transforming their dream into reality.
THE Kalabagh Dam is not just an invitation to political suicide, it will give birth to provincialism, and national integrity could be at stake.
The KBD has not been built since the 1970s. Why then this urgency to build it now? Instead of the KBD, the authorities concerned should build small dams as they will be easy to manage. Also, the desiltation issue would be easily resolved.
The existing dams have been rendered inefficient because of silt. As the desiltation cost of a big dam is equivalent to the cost of a new dam, the desiltation of existing dams should be avoided and instead small dams should be built.
THE Kalabagh Dam has become an economic-cum-political issue which has gained momentum after the Lahore High Court verdict.
The provinces are confronting and opposing the dam. However, the interests are concealed under the layer of this issue.
Whether the Kalabagh Dam should be constructed or not, it should be the task of the Planning Commission to opine after assessing the feasibility.
In the recent era, the idea of building larger dams is not popular around the globe due to the deposition of heavy silt in the depth of dams which obviously reduce the space for water reservoir.
It is difficult to remove silt due to requirement of a large number of labour and state machinery.
Besides, seismic factor must also be kept in mind. A large dam may be vulnerable in case of an earthquake, and in the context of Pakistan, the investment and the financial issue is also important as economy is also fragile.
Keeping in view all the above factors, the idea of small dams should be welcomed.
ENGR SABIHA KHAN