THERE is no disputing Governor Taseers contention made with a tinge of regret that if Kalabagh Dam had existed, it would have taken a great deal of the floodwater, minimising the scale of devastation in the downstream. Indeed, it is pure commonsense, which appears to be in short supply here especially at the apex of our ruling circles, that dams act as a barrier against floods, to store water for irrigation and produce cheap electricity. But our leaders have forgotten to judge dams on these grounds. This season, flooding has been so intense that it has surprised everyone. Having said that, it would not be out of place to attribute the death and destruction it has caused to the very elements that have opposed the construction of dams. While credit should be given to the Governor for openly speaking his mind in defiance of Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashrafs policy on water reservoirs, one cannot help but recall the myopic vision of the ANP leadership, which has been selling the idea to their public that Kalabagh would pose the danger to Nowshera while expert opinion holds a contrary view. These floods have now proved beyond any iota of doubt that the ANP was misleading its people, and Kalabagh and other dams like Munda dam would have been a blessing and saved large parts of the country from drowning. Governor Taseer got it right when he commented that the KBD has been turned into a political football. He hoped that consensus could be built provided serious efforts were made. Under the circumstances, the government should first start a consensus building exercise since the flooding would have created a favourable opinion. Given the ongoing massive destruction, not only the KBD but also the Munda dam, which is especially designed to protect KP from flooding should be built.