ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) yesterday announced that it has completed the detailed engineering design of the Kalabagh dam project, in the light of observations and concerns of the provincial government.
An official of the Ministry of Water and Power said that the efforts of the government to develop a consensus among all the provinces has not been fruitful and work could commence only after it had been reached.
“Kalabagh Dam would guarantee sufficient and cheap electricity,” said the official adding that thermal power costs Rs16 per unit, where as hydel power costs Rs2.5 to Rs3 per unit.
“The big dams are needed to overcome the issue and the country would suffer severe water crisis if they were not built,” he added.
According to a study, the Kalabagh Dam will have the capacity of generating 3,600MW of electricity which will save $4 billion annually for the country, excluding the 30 percent line losses.
Meanwhile according to a conservative estimate, about 30 million acre foot water is being wasted into the sea because of absence of big water reservoirs and the dam was causing the country a loss of Rs132 billion annually.
“The recent floods in Pakistan caused more than $45 billion loss which could have been averted if big dams were operational,” the official said.
The site of Kalabagh Dam Project is located at 210km downstream of Tarbela Dam and 26km upstream of Jinnah Barrage on the river Indus.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2014.