LAHORE: The parliamentarians who keep passing resolutions against the Kalabagh dam do not know that our two dams have increased river supplies by 20 million acre feet (maf), that Sindh received an additional 8.9maf, and that cultivated area in the country has increased by four million acres. Do they know that there has been no further increase in water supplies for 40 years, that the Kalabagh dam will add another 6.1maf, that Sindh will get an additional 2.257maf, that it will not become a desert, that there will be no ill-effects on the Indus delta, that Punjab will get only its due share, the same as Sindh, and that this share has been reduced to increase Sindh’s share in all future dams?
Do our parliamentarians know that there is surplus flow in our rivers for a very short period, that there is very little flow for a much longer period, and that it is important that the surplus is stored in dams during the Kharif period? Do they know that more people will be displaced in Punjab than in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) if the Kalabagh dam is built and that more land will be submerged in Punjab than in K-P?
Can the future of the country be put in the hands of people who don’t know any of the above? All they believe is that Punjab will take all the water from the Kalabagh dam and that Sindh will become completely barren, that the Indus delta will deteriorate further, and that Nowshera will be flooded. They also believe that land will be submerged, displacing people. I am sure there must be many in the PPP who know all the facts but are keeping mum to save their own skins, never mind what happens to the country.
Engr Khurshid Anwer
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2016.