To our Se­nate, re­gard­ing dams

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - COMMENT -

IT has been re­ported the Se­nate has writ­ten to the World Bank to con­sti­tute a tri­bunal on the Kis­hanganga dam dis­pute with In­dia. Please note that a tri­bunal con­sti­tuted by the In­ter­na­tional Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion had al­ready given its fi­nal verdict on Dec 20, 2013 al­low­ing In­dia to pro­ceed with the dam but main­tain a min­i­mum flow of 9 cumesc down­stream of the dam. How­ever, the tri­bunal stopped In­dia from car­ry­ing out Draw­down flush­ing for re­moval of silt deposit. Pakistan had taken the verdict as a vin­di­ca­tion of its stand on Draw-down flush­ing and had main­tained that 9 cumecs was only a lit­tle less than the min­i­mum 10 cumecs that Pakistan had asked for. Does the Se­nate know that in mak­ing this re­quest ‘in du­pli­cate’ it runs the risk of be­ing deemed ‘in­no­cent’ by the World Bank.

A mem­ber of the Se­nate has also re­peated the usual ca­nard, “Kal­abagh dam is not the only so­lu­tion, let us build other large and small dams”. For his in­for­ma­tion, the only other large dam in the pipe­line is Bhasha dam which will take at least 15 years to build by when Mangla and Tar­bela will have lost con­sid­er­able ca­pac­ity for stor­age and for power gen­er­a­tion, mak­ing Bhasha dam only a ‘re­place­ment dam’, ir­ri­gat­ing only those acres which the two ex­ist­ing dams will have stopped ir­ri­gat­ing. Bhasha dam can be­come pro­duc­tive only if Kal­abagh dam be­comes the re­place­ment dam i.e., re­places the ca­pac­ity lost by the two dams in the time it will take to build.

I would re­quest the Na­tion to use its good of­fices to get WAPDA to re­lease a list of medium dams in the pipe­line with their stor­age ca­pac­i­ties to see if they can sub­sti­tute for the 6.1 mil­lion acre feet (maf) Kal­abagh dam and in how many years. It will take 750 small dams to equal this ca­pac­ity, in any case small dams ser­vice only the lo­cal­ity in which they are built and do not add to the 104 (maf) per an­num avail­able to us for ir­ri­ga­tion for the last 40 years. ENGR KHURSHID ANWER La­hore

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