It has been noticed that during a discussion about mega dams in the National Assembly, some members objected to the construction of a mega dam in Punjab to safeguard rights of the lower riparian of Sindh and Balochistan. It is unthinkable to quote only the rights of lower riparian while ignoring completely the rights of the upper riparian. The Ahadees-i-Nabvi, quotes of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), are clear on the issue; the upper riparian has a prior right on equitable use of water as water cannot flow upwards. The rights of stored water in a new dam have been already specified in the Water Accord of 1991 wherein Punjab & Sindh get 37% each while NWFP and Balochistan get 14 and 12% respectively. These shares can only be given out if the water is stored upstream during the flood season of 70 days to use it subsequently. If the water is allowed to escape to the sea, no riparian (upper or lower) could ever use it later during the year. So why is there objection if a mega dam is located in Punjab but no hue and cry if it is located in northern areas? Simple logic dictates that a hydroelectric dam at an appropriate site in Pakistan would not only store irrigation water but also generate cheap power. It is a win-win situation for all riparian, upper and lower. We have been unnecessarily bickering on the issue of location of a mega dam in Punjab since three decades with the result of a power, water and food crisis staring us in the face. -DR M. YAQOOB BHATTI, Lahore Cantt., via e-mail, April 23.