BADIN: Hundreds of workers belonging to the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) and the Sindhyani Tehreek, led by QAT chief Rasool Bux Palejo, on Sunday gathered in Badin city to register their protest against the proposed construction of the Kalabagh Dam.
The rally comprising children and women, who were carrying party flags, placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands, marched from Allahwala Chowk to Badin press club.
Palejo addressed the charged workers and warned the PML-N-led federal government other leaders who favour the controversial mega water project termed the construction as a great conspiracy against the federation and the solidarity of the country.
He said that the Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies had rejected the project and the people of the three provinces would never allow the rulers to construct the dam.
The veteran politican alleged that some people want to create conflicts, which the country can not afford as it is already facing internal as well as external threats and problems.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh assemblies on Dec 12, 1988, Oct 6, 1994, and May 14, 1994, respectively, had passed unanimous resolutions against the construction of the dam.
Many people oppose the controversial Kalabagh Dam project over apprehension that it may render Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's land infertile and water logged, while many in Sindh and Balochistan express the fear that the dam could allow the upstream provinces to withdraw the waters from the reservoir through high-level tunnel outlets leaving the land in the two provinces barren.
Former chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Shamsul Mulk, however, advocates the construction of bid dams over smaller ones saying, "small dams could meet the requirements of the local population and regions but big dams could accomplish the national requirements of electricity and irrigation."
About the opposition to the Kalabagh dam, he has said the basic problem of the opponents was that they did not have correct information about it.
During a seminar held in November 2014, Mr Mulk had said that in the last 50 years China had constructed 22,000 dams, India over 6,000 dams and United States 7,500 dams in the last century.
“Pakistan can currently store water to meet needs of only 29 days. On the other hand India stores water to meet the need for next 200 days,” he said.