LAHORE - Wapda’s former chairman Engineer Shamsul Mulk has pointed out that the demand for construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD) has turned in to a movement.
Sharing his views in a panel discussion on KBD here on Saturday, KPK former caretaker chief minister said all chambers of commence of the country assured him their full support in the movement for building KBD.
The Institution of Engineers Pakistan (IEP) Lahore Chapter organized the event. IEP Lahore chapter chairman Engineer Syed Khalid Sajjad and Engineer Ameer Zameer Khan also expressed their views on the occasion.
“This movement can’t be stopped. A public gathering has already been organised in Dera Ismail Khan in favour of KBD construction,” said Shams, adding people were paying a heavy price due to non-construction of KBD.
“Had the dam been built, it would have given 12 billion units of electricity at cost of Rs1.54 per unit. We are paying Rs16.50 per unit electricity from thermal source in the absence of the KBD,” he said. Shamsul Mulk was of the view that Pakistan’s future was not bright without KBD. He held that people of Sindh were paying Rs40 billion annual in terms of electricity bills, KPK Rs29 billion and Balochistan Rs7 billion every year. He questioned that was there a benefit of even one rupee to them for not building KBD. Shams said that Dasu dam should be build but not at the cost of Bhasha dam. He said that Pakistan suffered loss of $9 billion during super mega floods of 2010, adding had KBD been built, the major floods would have been mitigated to an ordinary summer flood, super flood mitigated to a usual major flood and super mega flood to become a super flood.
While talking about the allegations of opponents of KBD that Sindh would become a desert, Shamsul Haq said that facts contradicted the allegations. He maintained that before construction of Tarbela and Chasma, Sindh was receiving an average of about 36 million acre ft (One acre ft is equal to 43,560 cubic ft) from the Indus river. However, after the commissioning of Tarbela Dam, Sindh was receiving an average of 43 MAF from the river systems i.e an increase of 7.00 MAF. KBD would provide more water to Sindh, he added.
Shams said that Pakistan has build 68 medium dams with average storage capacity of 8000 acre feet in past 65 years and 750 more dams were required in alternate of KBD.
General Secretary IEP Lahore Engineer Ameer Zameer Khan announced on this occasion that IEP has formed a think tank to pave the way for the construction of KBD and create a public opinion in all the four provinces with the support of chambers of commerce in favour of the KBD.