LAHORE - The variety of problems are in full swing, especially in water and power sector of the country following the announcement of scraping the Kalabagh Dam after spending 18 per cent on the project. The total project cost including contingencies, escalation and interest during the construction was estimated US$ 6.124 billion in 2005 whereas $ 1102.32 million has already been spent on the project. The time estimated for the making functional the first power unit of the project was six years. After scraping the Kalabagh Dam, some 20 million barrels of oil will be needed annually to produce the required thermal power. This annual import of fuel will require extra transportation infrastructure which will cost an additional burden of Rs 100 billion per annum to the economy by turning down the annual energy generating capacity of Kalabagh Dam. Thermal generation in the absence of low cost hydel generation will further upset the thermal-hydel mix in the system causing prohibitive rise in the power tariff. Sources said that denying building of Kalabagh Dam would jeopardise food needs of the nation in the face of fast rate of population growth. 'This will subject the economy to additional burden of importing food grains of 1.5 million tons, sugarcane 12.25 million tons, oil seeds 1.72 million tons, and forages 60.22 million tons by year 2025 with the cost Rs 200 billion per annum' they said. Study indicated that up to 2006 loss of storage capacity of the on-line reservoirs because of the sedimentation was 28 per cent, which will increase the shortage of committed irrigation supplies causing serious drop in the existing agricultural production and the every year increase will go to the extent of 43 per cent by year 2025. For implementation of Water Apportionment Accord 1991, new storages are essential without which bitter inter-provincial disputes are likely to increase particularly in dry water years. Growth of domestic industrial and agricultural sectors has been impeded due to high power cost and non-availability of enough fresh water. Secondary salinisation of lands will become difficult to combat which will seriously affect our crop yields. The study indicated that the country has been deprived from compensating for the storage lost due to silting up of existing reservoirs and to provide additional storage and regulation on the Indus for management and timely supplies of water for the crops. It also lost the opportunity of generating large amount of low cost hydroelectric power near major load centres. Besides, increase in energy and power output of Tarbela Power Station as a result of conjunctive operation of Tarbela and Kalabagh reservoirs, regulation and control the extreme flood peaks of the Indus to alleviate flood damage downstream is also remained a dream. The officials said that the nation has been deprived of the benefits of yielding direct annual benefit of Rs 65.67 billion from irrigation supplies, power generation and flood alleviation. Besides, the additional indirect benefits like more industrial and food production, employment and agricultural growth were also denied to the public. Talking about the irrigation water supplies, they said that scraping of the project had deprived of augmentation of about 6.1 MAF of irrigation supplies annually. The additional water was to be made available mostly during Rabi season from October to March According to Water Sector Investment Planning Study, Pakistan will face a deficit of 12 million tons in total grain production by the year 2012-13 which is 31 per cent of the projected target. Such a large-scale deficit cannot be bridged simply by improving farming practices and technology. The irrigation supplies scenario by the year 2012-13 will be critical, and it will become increasingly disastrous year-by-year thereafter. Hence there is urgent need of more storage dams. Engineering studies of the Kalabagh Dam project had already been completed whereas the project was ready to be taken up for implementation. A World Bank study indicated that in the early 1960s it appeared that Pakistan was doomed, ironically, to a watery, salty grave. It added that the response of public and infrastructure partition both created Pakistan and did it in such a way that the very survival of the country was put in jeopardy.