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LAHORE, Aug 7: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) told the Lahore High Court on Tuesday that except Punjab, all the provinces had objections on the construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD).

In a written reply submitted to the court of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Wapda stated 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.

The reply was submitted in response to a petition seeking directions for the government to build a consensus on the construction of KBD.

It said all the provinces were heard and their objections had been removed before the passage of resolutions. The authority said the objections of the provinces were baseless and based on lack of information.

The provinces were told that construction of Kalabagh dam was vital and it could be constructed within six years, the reply said.

The chief justice adjourned further hearing till Aug 17 and directed the petitioner to file his rejoinder on the Wapda reply.

Advocate Syed Feroz Shah Gilani had filed the petition and stated that former caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Wapda’s former chairman Shamsul Mulk in a statement said the KBD was not an issue of Punjab alone but a matter of country’s survival that was at stake due to fast depleting water resources.

The petitioner said KPK suffered the most due to delay in the construction of the Kalabagh dam as even after the completion of Bhasha Dam the province would continue to be deprived of additional water because 800,000 acres of available agricultural land in Dera Ismael Khan could not be irrigated.

Advocate Gilani said if the KBD was built, water would be available for vast area of land in KPK at affordable price.

He said the government should ask the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to remove differences and problems among the provinces and the provinces and federation.