Saturday, August 28, 2010

Devastation an eye-opener for opponents of Kalabagh Dam'

Punjab Water Council (PWC) has said the destruction caused by the unprecedented floods should serve as an eye opener for the opponents of Kala Bagh Dam. PWC Co-ordinator Hamid Malhi in a statement on Friday said that according to figures released by the federal government around 4.25 million acres of crops have been inundated and 20 million people affected by the floods.

Total losses would be manifold as compared to the total cost of construction of Kala Bagh Dam, which is US $6-7 billion. The recent statement by the Wapda chief has unearthed once again, the forces behind the opposition to this great economic benefit. No wonder if the very institution which is supposed to advocate the feasibility of the dam is engaged in subverting it, how will the goal ever be achieved?

He said it is a fact that the maximum river water inflows of 13,13,000 cusecs on 31st July 2010 were reduced by 2,20,000 cusecs by storing these inflows in Tarbela and Mangla dams. The devastation would have been much more if the outflow was not reduced by 17 percent by these two dams. The 2,53,000 cusecs flow of river Kabul and 1,28,000 cusecs flows of river Chenab on the same day could not be controlled, as there are no dams on these rivers. The river Chenab has no big dam site in Pakistan but Kala Bagh Dam could reduce the impact of Kabul river flows by storing 6 MAF of water and also producing 3,600 MW of electricity, Malhi added.

PWC strongly condemns the statement of the Wapda chief and demands that he should be immediately replaced. PWC asks both, the president and the prime minister as to how many more lives and economic loss the country has to suffer before the construction of Kala Bagh Dam starts, he concluded.[Business Recorder]

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