Dr Yasmin Rashid, chairperson of Insaf Professional Forum has appealed to the government to prepare a comprehensive policy to save the water of Pakistan.
After Mangla dam a second dam could be built either at Kalabagh or at Tarbela. WB wanted to build the smaller, cheaper and less complex Kalabagh dam but a group of Wapda engineers prevailed upon their government to get WB to build the bigger, costlier and much more complex Tarbela dam, they argued that Kalabagh dam could be build later with own resources.
Storage capacity has to be the key in any water policy not only to meet the ever increasing demand for irrigation water but also to increase our very inadequate reserve of 30 days only for any contingency.
Kalabagh dam can provide us with a capacity of 6.1 million acre feet in less than five years (could have done it 20 years ago) while Bhasha dam will take at least 15 years to give us 7 maf.
Dr Yasmin Rashid should enquire from the Sindh assembly as to what is so wrong with Kalabagh dam which even WB was prepared to build, the much touted assembly resolutions do not tell us much.
The first thing they will say is that the dams have depleted the Indus river and the Indus delta, they don’t even know that the dams have actually increased canal supplies (35.6 to 44.5 maf in Sindh canals alone), and have not depleted the Indus or the delta.
It is the people who have depleted the Indus, 8 crore people have increased to 20 crore in 40 years without any increase in supply , add 15 years for Bhasha dam and we have 55 years without increase in storage. A neutral observer will be fully justified in thinking that we are stark, raving mad and fully deserve the fate that awaits us.
Engr Khurshid Anwer