It appears that the PTI government will soon revive the Kalabagh Dam (KBD). Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi revealed that a proposal for the construction of the dam will be presented before the cabinet.
He made the revelations during an international symposium regarding hydropower development in Islamabad on Monday. Moonis Elahi stressed the need to increase Pakistan’s water storage capacity.
Reacting to Moonis Elahi’s statements, PM Imran Khan acknowledged that Pakistan requires more water storage capacity. PM Imran Khan also said the people in Sindh have their reservations on this project owing to “anti-state propaganda” claiming that government will steal their water. Without convincing Sindh, the work on this project cannot be started.
“We need a campaign to scientifically prove to them [people of Sindh] that Kalabagh Dam will bring no harm,” PM Khan said.
“We are a federation and have to take along all the provinces,” PM Khan further added.
PM Imran Khan welcomed Moonis Illahi's proposal for Kalbagh Dam- however he emphasised that we have to work to scientifically convince people of Sindh that Kalabagh Dam is not to steal their water; now is the test of all those politicians & media pundits who cry on "mehangai" 1/2 pic.twitter.com/wwZ1j4CFID
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) February 14, 2022
To protect Pakistan from the looming crises of water scarcity, PM Khan vowed to build 10 dams in 10 years. Popularly campaigned as the “Decade of Dams,” the PTI government will construct new projects including Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Dasu Hydropower Project, Nai Gaj Dam, Sindh Barrage, and K-IV Project.
Read more: Mohmand Dam to be completed by 2025
Regarding this, PM Imran Khan said the construction of 10 dams will double Pakistan’s water storage capacity.
Construction of Kalabagh Dam
The proposal for KBD is indeed a welcoming one. Once constructed, the dam will help manage Pakistan’s water crises and contribute to the production of hydro-power, the cleanest form of energy.
However, the Kalabagh Dam faced many issues in the past. Due to certain violations of the Indus Accord by the Punjab province, reservations in Sindh grew against the project. Even the former Chief Minister of KPK Pervez Khattak said that the KBD is against the interests of KP. The Awami National Party also opposed the site of the construction of the dam. As a result of the opposition from Sindh and KPK, there was no major breakthrough in KBD.
Moreover, critics also say that the life of the dam is too short and its cost too exorbitant to make it a highly uneconomical project.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s capacity for water storage has not increased. In fact, the water situation remains dire. Furthermore, global warming also poses a serious threat. Therefore, to protect Pakistan’s future, the PTI government actively campaigns for the construction of KBD to avert the looming crisis.