‘Accusing Punjab of Sindh’s water crisis illogical’

LAHORE -  The Lahore Chamber of commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed grave concern over accusing Punjab and federal government responsible for water crisis in Sindh by some political elements.

In a statement issued here, LCCI President Abdul Basit said that those people are responsible for water crisis in Sindh who are opposing most important water reservoir and power generation project, “Kalabagh dam”, that is nothing else but to promote discord between the provinces.

He said that blame of making Terbela and Mangla dams is illogical and groundless as water shortage in these two reservoirs is due to lack of rains and delay in glaciers melting. He said that the Lahore chamber had already feared that water crisis would hit the agriculture sectors of Punjab and Sindh as the country has no sufficient water reservoirs while water storage capacity in Terbela and Mangla dams has considerably reduced. Therefore Kalabagh dam is a must for the country but unfortunately those elements are chanting slogans against this project who are blaming Punjab and Federation for water scarcity in Sindh.

“It would be better if anti-Kalabagh elements play role for early construction of this mega project instead fuelling the fire of provincial conflict otherwise our future generation would not forgive them” Basit added. The LCCI president said that the Kalabagh dam is inevitable for the progress and prosperity of the country as it will produce power at an average cost of Rs2/kwh. This cheap power will annually displace costly power worth approximately Rs300 billion with consequential savings of costly oil imports.

He said that there was no threat to Nowshehra city as it is 150 feet above the water level. He said that Kalabagh Dam was not only beneficial to Punjab alone but it would be more helpful in erasing poverty from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The dam would irrigate 800,000 acres of land that is located 100-150 feet above the Indus river level in the province.

He said this land could only be brought under cultivation if the river level is raised that is only possible if Kalabagh Dam is built. He said the other alternative is to pump the water which is very costly. He said that creditable studies have indicated that pumping water for potential cultivable land would cost farmers Rs5,000 per acre per year while canal water after construction of Kalabagh Dam would cost only Rs400 per acre per year. He said that additional water would also be available for Sindh in all seasons. 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.


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