Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) on Thursday welcomed the Lahore High Court remarks on Kalabagh Dam and called for its early construction, terming it the “only long-term solution” to end power shortage and save the country from devastating floods.
PIAF Chairman Sohail Lashari in a statement said that Kalabagh Dam is not only the most viable cheaper power generation project but its preliminary work had already been completed. Kalabagh Dam is indispensable for the progress of the country and all those who were opposing its construction were enemies and playing with the country’s future.
“Only because of the government’s silence over this dam, the country is suffering huge financial loss of annually. This amount can be saved by constructing the dam,” he said. Lashari said that the government should constitute a team of experts that should convince all the provinces that Kalabagh Dam was necessary for the progress and prosperity of the country.
He said that experts had already said that the dam would pose no threat to Nowshera, as the city was 150 feet above the water level. “Kalabagh Dam is not only beneficial to Punjab but it will be more helpful in erasing the poverty from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because it would help irrigate 800,000 acres that is located 100-150 feet above the level of Indus River,” he said adding that this land could only be used for cultivation if the river level is raised, which is possible only if Kalabagh Dam project will be completed.
He said that the construction of Kalabagh Dam is must to ensure availability of water to the agriculture sector and cheaper electricity to both the trade and industry of the country. The government should develop consensus among federating units by convincing them that building Kalabagh Dam is the only way out of the ongoing power crisis. He said that the government should also launch coal-based power projects. PIAF leader said that Kalabagh Dam is the “excellent” solution to solve power crisis but the present regime shelved the project with one stroke of pen. He said that Pakistan could generate thousands of megawatts of electricity through coal and other alternate resources. The construction of Kalabagh Dam along with other new dams is desperately needed to store adequate water.
According to a conservative estimate, about 30 million-acre-foot of water is being wasted into the sea because the country has no big water reservoir to store it. There is also a constant threat of floods due to melting of glaciers as a result of global warming, he added.