LAHORE: This is with reference to a picture in your newspaper of April 29 of the newly-constructed Gomal Zam Dam in Fata’s South Waziristan Agency. The project was undertaken and completed by Wapda, with assistance from USAID in its later stages. According to details, it will store 1.14 million acres-feet of water and this will help irrigate up to 66,000 hectares of land. It will also be able to generate up to 17.4 megawatts of electricity and this will contribute 91 million units of electricity to the national grid. The benefit of the dam in terms of flood mitigation alone has been estimated at an annual $2.6 million (and this figure is relatively low because of the low population density and the amount of land under cultivation in the region).
With this in mind, it will not be difficult then, to assess the benefits of a dam at Kalabagh, which would have more than five times the storage capacity and over 200 times the generation capacity of the Gomal Zam Dam.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2011.