To our Senate, regarding dams
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