Fast track projects

There is no denying of the fact that Pakistan direly needs water storage facilities to preserve floodwater and rainfall for future needs of agriculture of all the four provinces. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has quite rightly directed the Water Resources Division to plan water storage projects on a fast track basis on priority and has also reiterated the govt commitment to end load-shedding of electricity and strive for a brighter future of Pakistan.
It is also appreciable that the government is striving to achieve a balanced mix for the energy requirements of the country and quite obviously maximum exploitation and utilization of Thar coal reserves will greatly help in providing affordable energy to the consumers. The prime minister has also quite rightly and emphatically said that water security is an important concern for the government as well as the people of the country. All this what the prime minister has said is appreciable. But he should have also directed the ministries concerned to revive the much condemned and criticized multi-purpose Kalabagh Dam which on being constructed will generate 2400 to 3600 megawatt power which will be available at cheaper rates and store as much as more than 7 million acres of feet (MAF) water for meeting the irrigation requirements of all the federating units in abundance.
It is a matter of great concern, of which the prime minister should also be aware, that we have not built a major storage facility anywhere in the country after construction of Tarbela Dam in 1974 and instead been criticizing and condemning Kalabagh Dam more on petty political grounds and out of vested interests than anything else. The ever-elusive national consensus regarding construction of Kalabagh Dam can only be developed by reviving the multi-purpose mega project and not just scrapping it. Someone has to take bold and courageous steps in this regard, please.
AAMER A NAJMEE
Lahore

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