CNN has reported that coal pollution in South East Asia would triple by 2030. The building of new coal fired plants in the area could potentially result in cardiovascular diseases, difficulty in breathing and loss of crops and fertility of the land. We, in Pakistan, are also building new coal fired plants all the while ignoring the benefits that clean hydroelectric energy, which is readily available, could give for our future. The generation of more hydroelectric energy can prove to not only be more environmentally friendly but also cheaper. Presently, we are only using about 15 percent of the potential that hydroelectricity has to offer and the main reason for that is the delays in the building of the Kalabagh Dam. Its construction could have given Pakistan 3600MW of power and 6.1 million acres’ feet of storage capacity per year thus allowing the irrigation of about 4 million acres of land. The current capacity of storage cannot meet the growing demands of the population so Balochistan should opt for the construction of the KBD for its self-interest if not for the benefit of other provinces rather than hanging in between the opposition provided by Sindh and KPK’s anti KBD lobby because the growing demand needs to be met one way or another.

DR. MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, January 28.