Kalabagh Dam is called a multipurpose project as it will overcome power and water shortages and will boost industry and agriculture. It is only through the left-bank canal at Kalabagh dam that Indus, Jhelum and Chenab can be integrated into one single river basin for optimum use of all the stakeholders. It is only through the left-bank canal at Kalabagh dam that north Punjab can get any water from any dam on the Indus. Without the left and right bank canals water from all the dams. What will be the future of agriculture in Pakistan if the largest crop land of the country in north Punjab is deprived of water of all future dam.
The Foreign Office spokesperson’s statement that India can build run of the river projects on Indus waters comes as a surprise. Did he not know of the 260 small and large dams that India is in the process of constructing and about 50 of these have already been completed? The Indus Waters Treaty signed between the two countries, strongly forbids India not to build dams on three western rivers granted to Pakistan. India has brazenly violated that provision. Since agriculture forms the mainstay of economy, which cannot survive without water, the damage to our crops and farming community has been colossal. The Baglihar, Nimobazgo and Kishanganga dams are few of the mega-projects that have bled us dry. India’s water blockade has also seriously hampered Pakistan’s electric generation capacity. It is a crying shame that under circumstances of the sort, when our Foreign Office should be on a diplomatic offensive, it is, in its innocence, encouraging India to go a step further. Also on the question of electricity’s import from India, he expressed ignorance, which gives the impression that the plan to import 5000MW of power was made without an input from an important concerned institution. And what could be worse that India is now about to sell us electricity generated on our share of canal waters while we have not been able to build Kalabagh Dam to cater to the country’s needs.
Engr Khurshid Anwer, @Lahore
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