People talk about the fact that the controversial Kalabagh dam project had been rejected by Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan assemblies. My question is, were these assembly members cognizant of the dangerously low per capita, per annum availability of water that borders on water-scarcity? Did they understand what water-scarcity means for a country? Were they aware that we are storing only 9 percent of our river waters and are, thereby, ranked 26th among the Asian states? That we have only 30 days contingency reserves to meet any eventuality, natural (mud-slide or snow-dam) or man made (read 'India) and that our present reservoir capacity is dwindling by the day, putting our Rabi sowing at great risk? That in six years time, Mangla and Tarbela dams would have lost capacity equal toyes, you have guessed itone Kalabagh dam. Kalabagh dam would give us power at rupees 2 per unit as against the rupees 16 plus we pay for thermal power and which, by the way, is likely to increase (considerably) further with the RPPs. A sudden increase in cost of imported fuel (caused by, say, an attack on Iran) would well and truly sink the Pakistan economy. That Bhasha dam is too little and too late because Mangla and Tarbela dams would be at less than half their capacities for storage and generation by 2025, while demand for water and power would have doubled with doubling of the population by that year. With increasing demand for water, decreasing flow in the Indus would lead to progressive degradation of the Indus deltaa situation only dams, new dams, can put right. Kalabagh dam is our only hope for meeting our needs of water, with cheap power on the side, for recovery of our sickened economy in the foreseeable future. The provinces should place their apprehensions on the table and let competent authority sift chaff from grain. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, March 15.