President Asif Ali Zardari has announced with a lot of fan fair the setting up of a pilot project of power generation by using wind power near Jhimpir to produce 50 MW of energy which is peanuts considering the so-called 50 thousand MW and 40 thousand MW potential from wind and hydel sources. We have been hearing of a similar high sounding figure from coal power generation of which the first 100 MW pilot projects has not yet been delivered due to financial constraints. It is often forgotten that wind, solar and coal energy does not add even one acre foot of water while a mega hydro electric dam that provides storage of millions of acre feet of water with cheap power as a secondary benefit. Engineer Shams-ul-Mulk is on record having said that today we crave for energy but when water shortage would hit the country in full swing we would forget the shortage of power.

As it is all rosy promises of power generation would pale into insignificance sans a mega dam like Kalabagh dam. It sounds like a mission impossible to solve our endemic problem of water and power shortages as such gimmicks of wind and solar energy have not solved the water and energy problems of any country on a large scale considering a country like Pakistan with 190 million people that need both water and power for economic prosperity.


Lahore, December 26.