A report on the inner story of Bhasha dam has appeared in a newspaper in which serious concerns have been shown from World Bank that is not in favour of this dam while Chairman WAPDA favours Dasu dam, which is a run of the river project without any water storage capacity, as per adviser Water and Power Mr. Shahid Durrani. The serious reservation of World Bank about the location of Bhasha dam which is located in a disputed area, as well as in a highly seismic area, with a dam height of 890 feet, these are reasons for friction between funding agencies and one of our technical adviser in Water and Power ministry. With World Bank being not on the same page as government of Pakistan, how do we expect to build Bhasha dam?

The only other valid option is building Kalabagh dam for which World Bank is keen and has already funded its feasibility. The question before the incoming government is, if there are so many reservations about Bhasha dam on which initial ground breaking was done 7 years ago in 2006, how can one expect its completion in 12-14 years? Kalabagh dam would only take 5 to 6 years, at a cost of about 6 billion $. Sagacity demands that government of Pakistan should try to achieve consensus on Kalabagh dam since KPK Government would not be averse to it now. We did not build a single dam in the past four decades while China is planning to harness Brahmaputra and other rivers issuing from Tibet to generate two hundred thousand MW of power. Since India is building scores of dams on our western rivers, we should not waste a single day in building Kalabagh dam?


Lahore, June 2.