Dr Shahid Munir has made a good case for energy from coal in his column ‘21st century coal’, in the Nation of Feb 28, but he is ignoring the fact that we are only five years away from a water crisis that will make us forget the power crisis. He is not right in saying that a dam will take 10 to 12 years to build and the only immediate option we are left with is coal. Kalabagh dam can be commissioned in 4 to 5 years and will provide us with 6.1 million acre feet of water for irrigation in addition to thousands of megawatts of cheap and clean power.
It is a pity that the problem of load shedding has blinded us completely to the bigger problem of shortage of water, not only to overcome the chronic shortages being suffered both during the Rabi and early Kharif period when river flows at their minimum, but also to irrigate the 30 million acres lying barren in the country, 80% of them in Sindh. I request the Nation newspaper to print in bold headlines that oil, gas, coal, nuclear, solar and wind energy will not give us water, water is food and food is life.
Lahore, March 1.