Sindh Tas Water Council Pakistan Chairman Suleman Khan has regretted that all provinces are violating the Water Apportionment Accord 1991.
Delivering a lecture on importance of Kalabagh Dam at Institute of Engineering Pakistan on Saturday, Suleman questioned that when the provinces are drawing their shares according to the water accord then why they are not agree to build the KBD which is mandatory in the accord.
“Three storages at Terbela, Mangla and Cheshma were constructed primarily for replacement under Indus Basin Replacement Plan. These storages with aggregate design capacity of about 15 MAF from about 90 per cent of the existing storage capacity and are rapidly losing their capacity due to excessive sediment burden in the river water,” he said, adding by the year 2010, these shortage would have lost about 6 MAF of their capacity and it was equivalent to loss of one mega project.
He held that due to lack of adequate shortage capacity, on an average annually over 39 MAF escapes below Kotri varying from 8 MAF to 92 MAF. As per Suleman Khan, this surplus water in river system is available but only in short summer period of 70 to 100 days.
“To save and utilise this surplus available water, it has to be stored and released judiciously for agriculture production. We have 25 million acres of barren land due to the shortage of water. This stored water can irrigate barren land and to improve our green economy. But due to the differences of the provinces, Kalabagh Dam or any other dam is not built,” he regretted.
In the year 1991, 21st March, the then Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting of the Council of Common Interests approved a unanimous decision based on “Apportionment of Waters of Indus River System among the provinces of Pakistan” that the water storages (dams) wherever feasible on the Indus and other rivers was admitted and recognised by the participants. Balance river supplies including flood supplies and future storages shall be distributed as Punjab 37 per cent, Sindh 37 per cent, Balochistan 12 per cent and NWFP (KPK) 14 per cent was also decided in the accord.
“Punjab sacrificed in the Water Accord 1991. All provinces are drawing their shares according to the accord but Kalabagh Dam is not constructed till now,” he regretted.
Addressing the meeting, IEP Lahore centre chairman Engineer Khalid Sajjad said that the cost of electricity can only be reduced by producing hydropower which is possible by construction of Kalabagh Dam which shall also provide boost to national economy.
He said that Kalabagh Dam is the surety of sufficient amount of electricity at very cheap price of Re one per unit. The country’s dependence on power generated through thermal sources is costing us way too much causing to face insurmountable challenges to remain competitive both in national and international markets.
He said that the present scenario leads to import oil worth over $ 12 billion a year which is costing us dearly while causing to face insurmountable challenges to remain competitive both in national and international markets.
He said that all the stakeholders should show some greater maturity on the issue of Kalabagh. It is the high time that all undue stands should be brushed aside to save the country from that era of darkness. He said that unlike Pakistan, India is constructing dams at every possible site. It has left us decades behind and coming time does not promise any good thing either.