KARACHI: This is with reference to a report in your newspaper “With consensus, government can go ahead with Kalabagh: PM”. (August 10). Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has claimed that "had the Kalabagh dam existed, it would have saved us from the havoc of floods". Obviously, he has joined other political leaders like Chaudhry Shujaat, Salmaan Taseer and others without considering the ground facts.
Idrees Rajput, former secretary of the Sindh irrigation department, recently said that dams only have a “nominal capacity” to collect flood water and that they are filled up in Pakistan before the summer rains. Dams like Kalabagh cannot collect flood water due to technical reasons.
Gilani has given the impression that only the Kalabagh Dam could have saved the destruction caused by recent floods. This is wrong and it is tantamount to rubbing salt into the injuries of Sindhis, Baloch and Pakhtuns as three out of four assemblies have passed around 10 resolutions against the controversial dam. This year a super flood has come after 34 years and it would not have been possible for Kalabagh Dam to absorb all this water. If it was possible, why do floods cause destruction in the US, Europe, and Asian countries despite the fact that they have dams there?
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2010.
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