The government plans to generate power from various sources including hydel. Ignoring the vital need of hydro electric dams that store water also wherein the power is a dirt cheap by-product can be fatal. Ignoring water storage like Kalabagh dam will destroy agriculture which in turn not only provides food but also fibre and other by products that feed the industry.

Agriculture is the engine that drives the economy and industrial progress by ensuring raw products for various industries. With increasing population and dwindling water resources based on snowmelt and wasting rain water we are darkening the horizon of nation by triggering economic disaster. The case in retrospect is the inability to seek a consensus on Kalabagh dam by the rulers who are planning for all sorts of alternate sources for power including coal, solar, nuclear, wind and biogas excluding a dam that would store rainwater below Tarbela i.e. Kalabagh dam.

These plans and projects would not meet the current and future needs of the exploding human population short of harnessing hydel power. The 21st century is defined as shrinking glaciers and heavy rains. The only dam to store rain water of Kabul, Swat and Soan as also Indus river yet the rulers are not making any effort to create consensus. In the years ahead, due to growing water scarcity and the growing needs of agriculture, only a large dam will be required. Kalabagh Dam has been a victim of politicization. If the concerns of the people are allayed, it can pave the way towards its construction.

DR. MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, December 14.