Our political leaders frequently express their views that hydel power is the cheapest than any other form of power generation. However, they never agree to construct a dam that could help harness this cheap source of energy. Barring Mangla and Tarbela dams, completed during regime of a military dictator, not other ruler, elected or dictator, could keep his /her words of constructing more dams, most importantly, the Kalabagh Dam. According to UNO, Pakistan is at high risk of facing serious water shortages in near future, but our leaders seem indifferent to this grave threat. They seem more interested in petty personal gains and their popularity than country’s survival. Kalabagh dam was conceived in the fifth five-year plan and substantial money was spent on construction of workers’ colony.
The work on dam itself was to begin in the next five-year plan. The site was declared most suitable by a large panel of national and international experts. Changes were made to the design to address concerns of people of KPK (then NWFP) and Sindh. Unfortunately, political leaders from both provinces kept stirring controversy about this project for petty political mileage. Even the two dictators, Gen Zia and Ge Musharraf, who did not have to worry about their political base failed to get this project going. Former premier, Mian Nawaz Sharif forsake his pledges and could not move the Kalabagh dam project during his three stints despite his clear promise during one of the campaigns. Every drop of rain water, that ends up into the sea makes this nonagenarian citizen sad and sick. It appears that our leaders are not concerned about the people of Pakistan or the country itself. All they can think of is getting their hands on power for personal gains with no concern for the country, it’s economy, or people.
Islamabad, August 12.