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Kalabagh dam: Punjab’s share

September 12, 2013

THE three eastern rivers were ceded to India under the Indus Waters Treaty subject to the World Bank building replacement works on the western rivers to compensate Pakistan for the loss of the three rivers. Two dams, a number of barrages and many link canals were built for this purpose.

The Tarbela dam alone increased supplies by 25 per cent by storing surplus floodwater in which all the provinces had a legitimate share.

However, Sindh is getting the lion’s share of 70 per cent from the dam. North Punjab is unable to take its full share in the absence of a left bank canal which only the Kalabagh dam can provide.

Not only from the Tarbela dam, north Punjab will not get any water from any dam on the Indus, be it Bhasha, Akohri or Skardu dam.

South Punjab is taking only 20 per cent through the Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals. The Chashma-Jhelum link canal is irrigating three million acres in upper south Punjab and the Taunsa-Panjnad link canal is irrigating 1.5 million acres in lower south Punjab.

These lands were previously irrigated by the Sutlej river and would dry up if replacement water is not provided from the Indus. It will be seen that Punjab is taking only a small percentage of its legitimate share from the Tarbela dam.

It is quite wrong to say that Punjab is stealing Sindh’s share of water through the Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals.