Muhammad Khan Sial in his last letter to the Readers Column had ruled out the necessity of building dams because he thinks they could not possibly have stopped the recent massive floods. But the dams can and, in fact, do stop moderate floods of normal intensity that occur every year which also, by the way, cause a lot of damage to life and property. In any case, dams are built primarily for irrigation and power generation. Flood control is only an added advantage. Imagine where would Pakistan have been with out the power for industry and water for agriculture that Mangla and Tarbela dams had provided after being built? In terms of monetary benefits, Tarbela dam is paying back the full cost of its construction every year and Mangla dam is paying us twice the amount that we spent on its constructionevery year. If the assemblies are to take decisions by majority vote on important technical matters, then we should abolish institutions like WAPDA, IRSA, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation Department, etc, etc. The assemblies can, of course, place their regional issues and apprehensions related to their parochial interest on record but then it should be left to the competent technical authority to address those apprehensions. Mr Sial has now come down from 35 maf to 10 maf in his assessment of the water flow needed downstream Kotri but he is still misquoting the Water Accord 1992 which only agreed to getting further studies done (for reference please see On the other hand, a study by a foreign consultant in 2005 had determined that 4.32 maf per annum or 0.36 maf per month was sufficient to check sea incursion. This amount needs to be stored in many dams and a monthly dose has to be released for year round protection of the deltaic region. Despite my repeated requests, Mr Sial has not told us how he proposes to distribute his 10 maf over the twelve months of a year? More than 10 maf water is already flowing down below Kotri every year but, unfortunately, all of it does so in the three flood months. It is in the remaining nine months that damage to the Sindh delta takes place. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, August 12.