Sporadic demonstration in Lahore and other parts of Punjab against loadshedding could prove to be the catalyst for the much dreaded revolution that some of our political quarters claim is only a matter of time. In the meanwhile, the provincial government led by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has held an energy conference with members from the traders’ and farmers’ community in Lahore. The provincial government assured the traders of certain energy projects of up to 50MW to help them partially meet the energy needs as a short-term measure. However, the traders themselves seemed proactive and urged the government to find permanent solution, including construction of Kalabagh Dam. They rightly pressed the Chief Minister that since the federal setup was not so forthcoming, Punjab must built a dam separately on the canal waters that flow down its territory preferably with some other name. Such was their earnestness that they even offered to arrange funding for the project, which shows firstly, their state of misery and secondly, the singular importance of this lifeline project.

That was not all. The Chief Minister was also told in no uncertain terms that since it was in public welfare, a long march in favour of Kalabagh Dam was overdue. As the current shortfall shows it is sink or swim for us. We not only have to prepare to bridge the existing shortfall but also gird up our loins for future as well. Since thermal energy is costly, our salvation lies in turning to hydel energy. It is hoped the exhortations will not be lost on the both federal and provincial governments.