THERE is a proposal going viral on the social media that the Pakistanis should create world history by building Kalabagh Dam on self help basis by donating and contributing towards its costs and not look towards the IMF or World Bank etc. for financing it. What a swell of an idea. If the Sialkotis can build their own airport and are now probably constructing their motorway connecting Sialkot to Lahore, why can’t we over 200 millions Pakistani build Kalabagh on our own?
In Westridge-1, Rawalpindi, we are a small community of about 300 houses and almost everyone here is willing to contribute at least Rs. 1000/- towards this cause and quite a few even more. If this scheme is taken up nationwide, I am sure, we can raise the required funds easily and quickly too. Only the people need to have confidence that their money shall not be misused or plundered away. Pakistanis are capable of rising up to any occasion. Zra nam ho to yeh mitti baRi zarkhez hai saqi…. Iqbal
Agreed, there are some reservations of the provinces of Sindh and KP, which I am sure can be resolved amicably by mutual discussions and negotiations. Everyone is cognizant of the fact that millions and millions of gallons of water is just dumped into the Arabian sea which could be very fruitfully utilized by storing and using it for power generation and irrigation. The water situation is becoming acute with each passing day in Pakistan and with the nefarious designs of India in the IHK, diverting of river Neelum and building of multifarious and multiple large and small dams on rivers Ravi and Chenab in hundreds would reduce Pakistan – God Forbid – into a desert in the very near future. Hence, the need for the construction of dams and conservancy of whatever water available to us is of paramount importance – nay – it is matter of survival, a matter of life and death for us now!!
In order to build the dame on self help basis, following would be needed: First and foremost, formation of an Autonomous Body capable of undertaking the task. Fortunately, there is no dearth of such highly patriotic, dedicated and honest technical and administrative experts in Pakistan. A very efficient financial management set up. Again luckily we have financial wizards of world class. Govt. assistance and incentives, such as : All necessary administrative and other govt. help and assistance is rendered for the expeditious execution of the project. Non interference by the govt. with its notoriously delaying bureaucratic procedures. Tax rebate to the donors. Duty free imports of plant, equipment, machinery and materials required for the project. Maintenance of Law & Order and Security. Any other assistance as and when required.
Now, the only impediment to the project could come from certain politicians, who for their vested interests may oppose it. Some of their fears could be genuine and must, therefore, be allayed by holding sincere and honest talks and discussions with them. I am sure a good sense would prevail upon all and in the spirit of give and take and what is best for Pakistan, and with a FAIR and EQUITABLE distribution of water for all they would not oppose the dam just for the sake of opposing it.
I am alive to fact that there shall be many questions, suggestions, proposals and ideas as to how to move about it. How to collect, collate and deal with all suggestions/proposals etc. which would need a set up – call it a Panel, a Committee, an Organisation whatever, and which would be formulated later to coordinate the initial start up. Till then and unless someone else offers now to spare his/her time and effort , all comments/suggestions/proposals (preferably in writing) may please be sent to the undersigned to set the ball rolling. With that in mind and seeking Allah Mercy and Help let’s do it and do it we shall, In Sha Allah.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Rawalpindi