THE KALABAGH DAM CONTROVERSY
Submitted to: Mr. Ali Shahrukh Pracha
Submitted by: Amirah Hashmi
The Kalabagh dam controversy has been the highlight of attention since a long time now. Every now and then an issue is raised and left unsorted leaving the related provinces further confused as Pakistan’s government has not been able to decide between the two contrasting point of views since the last 27 years (1984, since its design was presented)(Iftikhar,2005) . The basic issue Kalabagh dam project is facing is the different point of views the main territories of Pakistan have. Sindh assumes that if this project is not stopped and allowed to resume the province it would be deprived of their share of water and their land would turn into a desert ultimately, flood cultivation in riverain areas would be reduced. Khyber Pakhtoon’s opposing statements were that is this dam was given a green signal as it is already known that Sindh is very prone to water logging and salinity problems high reservoir water levels could cause cultivation problems, a massive amount of people would have to be dislocated for the project etc. Punjab so far is the only province supporting the building of Kalabagh dam. According to Punjab if this project is completed it would not only benefit people by getting them rid from multiple issues but also benefit the country by reducing its dependence on foreign funds and opening a vacancy for around 30,000 people during its construction. Other advantages included fulfilling increasing demands of electricity with the number of people and providing irrigation to the river in Sindh. (Khokar, 2008)
Dams hold a vital role in the running of a country, especially for an agricultural country like Pakistan. Larger dams are more beneficial from the smaller ones as they are multi-purposed. They not only provide electricity to the country but also control flooding, provide water for irrigational purposes, create job opportunities for the local community, also act as a tourist attraction and picnic spots. Pakistan has three gigantic dams, Tarbela dam, Mangla dam and Warsak dam. (Amar Guriro, 2011). Other small dams are Khanpur dam, Ghazi barotha hydro power project (located downstream of tarbela dam), Misriot dam and Tanaza dam.
Another controversial dam in Pakistan is the “DIAMER-BHASHA” dam. According to some people the Bhasha project was a (kind of) alternative to the controversial Kalabagh dam. The Bhasha dam proposal was given by the president Musharraf in a speech in 2006 but it was opposed the people in Gilgit as they feared that it would affect the social, economic and ecological balance in the region and engulf 32 villages of Diamer district in Northern Areas, leaving thousands of people homeless. (sadiq, 2006) However, near about in November 2008 the Bhasha dam project got a green signal to proceed by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council and the deadline was given by the year 2016. The World Bank has also asked the Pakistani government to get approval of the project from the assembly as a prerequisite for obtaining $11.34 billion. (This dam is would be located near river Indus in northern Pakistan and is expected to provide an energy supply of 4500 MW to the population (Diamer Bhasha) whereas the Kalabagh dam was intended to provide 3600 MW which means a benefit of 900 MW to the population which is pretty good. Construction of this dam would provide almost the similar advantages that Kalabagh dam would have.
Pakistan is an agricultural country and is famous for it, the construction of the dam would also water log several fertile areas which would destroy the fruits and vegetables grown there, which are consumed by the Kohat province, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. (Narejo, 2005) Health, food, shelter, infrastructure of the provinces and the people living in them and what not is being directly affected by the construction of the...
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