Lahore : It is the Sindh province which needs Kalabagh and other mega dams for its agriculture sector and sustained development more than Punjab and other provinces Chairman Agri & Water Council Muhammad Akram Khan Faridi said here on Tuesday.
Talking about the future water needs of the country, Faridi said that during the next two years, Pakistan will have a water short fall of over six million acre feet which is equal to water stored in Mangla Dam.” The decline in water will continue to increase with every passing year and the biggest sufferer will be the province of Sindh as Punjab has plenty of sweet sub soil water to meet its needs by sinking tube wells for irrigation purposes, he added.
He said the depleting capacity of the existing water reservoirs call for at least one dam like Kalabagh, Bhasha or Bunji every 10 years. We have been neglecting this dire requirement and did not construct any new dam during the last 30 years and the country is today suffering for this criminal neglect in the form of drought and acute water shortage throughout the country specially Sindh and Balochistan.
Faridi said the water shortage in provinces will be much more acute in the coming years and this disaster can be averted only by undertaking construction of new dams on war-footing as big dams take a long time for building. He said Turkey has built 40 dams on the Tigris River and other rivers over the last five decades, while Pakistan, during the same period, has built only two. Mangla Dam on the River of Jhelum (completed in 1968) and Tarbela Dam on the River Indus (completed in 1974).
He said Pakistan is one country that has not built a dam in 34 years. “If we take a decision right now to go ahead with the construction of a dam to be completed by the year 2015 the water shortage will go up to 8 million to 10 million acre-feet.
He stressed that the feasibility study of Kalabagh Dam was prepared in several years after spending millions of rupees, and lot of preliminary work has already been done on the project. The Kalabagh Dam has become an absolute necessity for the country and delaying or abandoning its construction would be an invitation to disaster.
He called upon President Asif Ali Zardari to allay fears of opponents of Kalabagh dam and start work on the dam in greater interest of Sindh province and the country.