FAISALABAD - The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has highly appreciated the Lahore High Court's decision on Kalabagh Dam directing the federal government to start its construct immediately on the River Indus.

FCCI President Zahid Aslam said that KBD that will generate 3,600MW electricity after completion would be a multi-purpose project. Its construction is in the national interest as it would help end power crisis. He maintained that after the court decision, apprehensions in this regard should be resolved with consensus by all the political leaders. He continued that since 1974, no big dam was constructed in the country and pointed out if Kalabagh Dam and other dams like Basha Dam and Sakardo Dam had been timely constructed, the country would not have been facing the present energy crisis. He said that thermal power costs approximately Rs22 per unit while hydroelectricity costs Rs1.18 per unit. The crisis has reduced the industrial production to 30percent, lowering the foreign direct investment, losing competitiveness in the international markets and increasing relocation trend of industries to other countries, he added. 

He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had approved the project and finalised necessary infrastructure to start its construction, adding that former Wapda chairman Shamsul Mulk who belongs to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa had already advocated its construction. He maintained that the Council of Common Interest has also declared it in the national interest.

He said, "Every year, we waste water worth Rs500 billion to the sea thereby depleting precious irrigation resource for arable lands in the country. Frequent occurrences of floods adversely affect the life and property of the people and cause billions of rupees loss to the national economy." He maintained that due to shortage of electricity to the industries, hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs that might affect law and order.

With the construction of KBD, the country will be able to generate cheap electricity it will help irrigate the lands in Punjab and other parts of the country. He urged the government to commence construction of the KBD immediately and also speed up pace of work on other dams' construction.