Now that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has told the Lahore High Court in detail that not a single objection made to the Kalabagh Dam Project is valid, the federal government should change its attitude of foot-dragging, and opt for a multipurpose project which would add the much needed cheap hydel to the power supplies, whose flagging has led to prolonged loadshedding. Wapda has noted in its reply to the court, made on Tuesday, on a petition demanding the construction of the dam, that three provincial assemblies, of Balochistan, Sindh and KPK, had passed resolutions against its being built, but has also noted that none of the assemblies had asked for technical experts to give them any presentations. Wapda said that the lawmakers also needed to be informed of the economic loss and hardships people would have to face if the dam was not built. Wapda said it could build the dam in six years, and it should have started in 1988. That means the country has been deprived of this project, and its benefits for the last 18 years.
Wapda is not the lone voice in the federal government. The Council of Common Interests has already said it has no objection in this petition. It would be in the fitness of things for the federal government, which is to reply at the next date of hearing, August 17, that it was commencing construction. Otherwise it would merely show that it was meeting parochial ends instead of thinking about Pakistan as a whole. It does not want such an image with elections just around the corner. The people of Pakistan are anxious that there must be some relief to the loadshedding, about which the government has not done enough.