ONE of the important test cases for the coming Pakistan Muslim League-N government would be bringing to life the Kalabagh Dam which was buried during the sterile tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The PPP’s Raja Pervez Ashraf took pride in burying the Kalabagh Dam. Now it is for Nawaz Sharif to revive it to implement the objectives of his historic Water Accord in 1991.

In that accord, shares for water were fixed for all the provinces in future storages by sacrificing share of Punjab to equate with Sindh at 37 per cent each, though Punjab has 73 per cent of the irrigated crop area and Sindh has only 15 per cent.

The Water Accord could not be implemented in the absence of a future water storage and instead future shortages of water were shared on the same formula of a future water storage.

The result was thermal power units started by late Benazir Bhutto and continued by the People’s Party government that have been the bane of Pakistan, resulting in massive daily loadshedding of 12 to 16 hours.

Now if Nawaz Sharif is able to build the Kalabagh Dam by ensuring consensus on a vital project, he will prove his mettle of statesmanship.

It is now his choice as to what kind of legacy he will leave for Pakistan. Please remember the $7billion yearly import of fuel for operating costly thermal power units has destroyed the economy of Pakistan with a Rs700 billion circular debt strangulating Pakistan like a vice.

The nation expects a Herculean effort by Nawaz Sharif to revive the Kalabagh Dam which is the best option at the time with all other options of water and power development being only a gleam in the eye at present.

DR M. YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore

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Comments (18)

Tariq
May 20, 2013 5:07 am
Kalabagh has been so politicised that it is a dead issue and Nawaz Sharif will never touch it. We do need more dams to be constructed immediately, to generate cheap electricity and store water.
Dr Khan
May 20, 2013 2:22 pm
Lahoris are obsessed with kala bagh dam.
Khana
May 20, 2013 3:31 pm
LOL....Nawaz Sharif is too much of a darpouk to raise such a critical yet politically sensitive issue. What you are asking for is political sacrifice for the good of the nation. Really, you think PML-N would even attempt this. The wanted to win not to serve the people. To do more loot maar. Hello? Wake up and sell the coffee.
altaf
May 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Kalabagh dam is very much needed but first strengthening of his position is what he will go for - after waiting so long he has got what he desired so he won't start halahula from the beginning.
Hyper Baig
May 20, 2013 11:34 am
Nothing is burried. whatever this country needs, the leader should provide.
Khana
May 20, 2013 3:32 pm
Dr Khan is obsessed with lahoris. LOL
Akram
May 20, 2013 11:26 am
the key is consensus, as with the Bhasha dam if there is consensus that can be reached between all the provinces, then it will happen. Punjab will need to offer more of the fruits of the dam to the smaller provinces in order to get consensus. If consensus is not reached then the government that follows the PML-N government is likely to cancel the program. Without consensus this project cannot go forward.
Tariq
May 20, 2013 8:33 am
Kalabagh will be constructed on the dead bodies of the Balochistan and Sindh. Don't open this jinn out of the bottle.
waqar
May 20, 2013 8:34 am
kalabagh dam may prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the federation of Pakistan...it is highly recommended to the newly elected govt to install small scale run off the river projects instead of going for the large dams whose building cost has to be borrowed from the international donors..Bhasha is a large dam with almost consensus in all provinces. however Pakistan can not afford the cost to build it on its own and the international donors have shown inability to provide loan for this project due to the reservations from India. hence that project though agreed upon by all stake holders is unable to be worked due to non availability of funds...it would be rational approach for the govt to follow the international trend and go after run off the river projects as well as the alternative energy approach...
Lakhkar Khan, Pekhawar
May 20, 2013 4:49 pm
@ YAQOOB BHATTI, Stay is Lahore and keep your comments to yourself. Your comment appears more instigative than a suggestion.
Lakhkar Khan, Pekhawar
May 20, 2013 4:17 pm
He better not bring back Kala Bagh Dam.
Lakhkar Khan, Pekhawar
May 20, 2013 4:33 pm
It is very easy to insist on building Kala Bagh Dam for those who live in any other place but KPK. DON’T hold your breath on Kala Bagh. It is not happening. KPK already sacrificed more than its share with building Tarbela. Besides, power shortage issue is far beyond Kala Bagh or any other hydro dam(s). It will never make up for the energy Pakistan utilizes. It is time to find an alternative method to generate energy.
Raja Islam
May 20, 2013 9:54 pm
I am not surprised to see that it is always someone from the Punjab who wants to build large dams upstream even though it may be to the detriment of the people living downstream.
Tariq
May 20, 2013 10:35 am
The writer is confused, he talked about on water sharing on Kala bagh Dam which is an impossible task and at the same time crying on energy shortage and the economic collapse because of this problem. In my opinion if we are serious about energy crisis we should shelved the Kala Bagh impossible dam and build new dams only for power generation so that no dispute would arise, we have 30,000 MW of hydel capacity. We are the most idiot nation if we can't use this gift of god to our country
jd shami
May 20, 2013 9:28 pm
INSHAALLAH, ITS VITAL AND BACK BONE FOR PAKISTAN
Lakhkar Khan, Pekhawar
May 20, 2013 4:43 pm
Amen, Tariq. This ilk does not understand how sensitive Kala Bagh issue is to the rest of county.
Lakhkar Khan, Pekhawar
May 20, 2013 4:40 pm
Nothing is buried? Said who? You want to further divide the already divided country among Baloch, Sindh, KPK and Punjab? If that is what you want to do than try to build Kala Bagh for the 20th time.
Bashir Cheema
May 20, 2013 10:56 am
with IK in KPK and Nawaz in centre/punjab, both leaders acquiring genuine mandate from people of KPK and Punjab and both leaders looking committed towards doing something worthwhile for the nation, I definitely see Kalabagh dam becoming a reality this time around.
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