LAHORE - Wapda former chairman Engineer Shamsul Mulk has said that non-construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD) is causing Rs220 billion per year loss to nation economy in terms of only electricity generation.
Talking to The Nation, the country’s top technocrat added that had the dam been built, the damages from 2010 flood would have been reduced to minimum level.
“Pakistan suffered a loss of $9 billion in 2010 super mega floods and if KBD was built, the major floods would have been mitigated to an ordinary summer flood, super flood mitigated to a usual major flood and super mega flood to become a super flood,” said Shamsul Mulk.
He was of the view that every Pakistani was paying heavy price due to non-construction of the dam and if it had been built, it would have given 12 billion units of electricity at Rs1.54. However, he argued, in the absence of KBD, Pakistani nation was paying Rs18.50 per unit of electricity from thermal source which annually costs more than Rs220b to national exchequer.
Challenging those who opposed the building of vital dam, KPK former Chief Minister regretted that they were doing with the country in the matter of water what the enemy of Pakistan would exactly like to be happened. Costly power generation were the reasons behind loadshedding and financial burden and making electricity by coal one can solve the load shedding problem but not of economy, maintained Shams.
“Have you heard voice in favour of KBD’s construction from any person in power? Nobody has the courage to speak truth,” he regretted. Wapda had planned to complete the construction of KBD by 1995 and of Bhasha Dam by 2010 and had these dams been built, there would have been cheapest and surplus electricity available for the people of Pakistan, he said, adding it was Pakistan which we were dreaming at that time to be the Asian tiger.
But, he regretted, the enemies of the country started hatching conspiracies against the country and the first plot was designed in this regard during Ayub Khan’s period. He said that the people of Sindh are paying Rs40 billion every year in their electricity bills, people of KPK a sum of Rs29 billion and people of Balochistan Rs7 billion every year.
He questioned is there a benefit of even one rupee to them for not building KBD? He said that ANP got 573403 votes out of 10,660,785 registered votes in 2008 election which counted 5.6 per cent of the total votes while the PPP got 562,000 votes in the same election.
Both allies which rules KPK for five year got 32 per cent of the casting votes in 2008 election, he added. He held that ANP was not the representative of Pashtoons and it was opposing KBD just for the sake of opposition.
Those who alleged Shams said that Nowshera will be drowned if KBD will be constructed did not know that in 1929 flood 175,000 cusecs of water passed from Nowshera and in 2010 floods more than 405,000 cusecs of water passed from Nowshera. Had KBD was built, all this water was stored, he held.