LAHORE: Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Chairman Abdul Basit has urged all political parties to come on the same page for the early construction of Kalabagh dam as the country needs it.
“It is a good omen for the country that politicians have finally realised the need for this dam to overcome water and power shortage,” said Basit, adding that the dam would not only produce cheap energy, but would also control poverty in the region; those who oppose it are the enemies of the country and playing with its future.
“Everyone knows that the existing dams are constantly silting up, resulting in an ever decreasing capacity to store water,” Basit pointed out. “We not only need Kalabagh dam, but other similar ones soon to conserve water.”
According to a conservative estimate, about 35 million acre feet of water is being wasted annually because of the absence of water reservoirs.
Basit further said that the construction of the dam would irrigate 800,000 acres of cultivable land located 100-150 feet above the Indus river level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
The land can only be brought under cultivation if the river level is raised, and that is only possible with the construction of KBD.
He also pointed out the fact the experts had already cleared any threat to Nowshehra City since it is located 150 feet above water level.
“We can save approximately Rs132 billion annually with the construction.”
Lastly, Basit urged the civil society to play a crucial role in creating a larger consensus as every Pakistani would benefit from the decision.
“Unlike Pakistan, India is constructing dams at every possible site, and here the lack of them has left us decades behind,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2015.