Stories about Kalabagh Dam

Why Kalabagh Dam is not the answer to our water woes

A few days back, my views on the futility of Kalabagh Dam published in a national daily evoked a very strong and hostile reaction from many people. I had posed a simple and pertinent question: “If, as is evident, Pakistan will have very little water in future, what will we fill Kalabagh Dam with?” Some people said Pakistan will have enough water forever, while others called me an enemy agent. Before delving deeper into why the dam should not be constructed, I would like to share my own experience of water consumption. Up until 10 years back, I had no idea how much ...

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How are we supposed to “celebrate” Eid with no water and no electricity?

Life in Pakistan has never been easy. The living conditions continue to deteriorate with each passing year. The effects of climate change, coupled with the water crises, are making life harder and harder for people living here. The power outages do not help either. However, this year, the repercussions of climate change and the water crisis are being felt the most, and things are about to get much worse. Today is Eid, which many people in the colonial parts of the city, especially certain gated communities, are enjoying to the fullest. Perhaps because they do not face the same problems ...

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An interview with Moazzam Husain: We ‘discovered’ iron ore – what now?

While serving on the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, Moazzam Husain led a small team of experts, businessmen and stakeholders to develop a technical and commercial strategy to harness Punjab’s iron ore resources. The first draft of that road-map was published in April 2010. Then following further rigorous consultations in August 2010, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif approved the strategy for implementation. I caught up with Mr Moazzam Husain in Karachi to discuss the recent developments around Punjab iron ore. Moazzam Husain Erum Shaikh (ES): According to media reports, the Punjab iron ore resources were identified decades ago. Yet ...

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Four things Imran Khan did right at the Larkana rally

With success of the massive public gathering in Larkana, Imran Khan has made a knock-on effect on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Whilst everyone in the political arena was waiting for the outcome of this rally, many said it would be difficult for the cricketer-turned-politician to gain a foothold in Sindh – often considered the political backyard of the PPP; others were counting on his failure, hoping that this jalsa would be the cause of Imran’s fall. However, on the contrary, Imran made a very strong statement; a show of strength, attracting a healthy crowd at the Larkana rally and, therefore, creating a serious stir ...

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Kalabagh dam: PML-N’s solution to our energy crisis?

Pakistan, after the elections, is once again faced with perhaps the most divisive political issue- the construction of the Kalabagh dam. One of the many expectations from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is to bring to life the Kalabagh dam; a subject that has been brushed under the carpet for a long period of time. So, the questions arise, will Mr Nawaz Sharif be able to address this issue through consensus among the provinces? And, will we as Pakistani citizens for once rise above our internal conflicts and work towards our collective development? It cannot be ruled out that the ...

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Life between two encroachments

The federal government watches on as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) encroachment upon Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) territory, both in the Shandur and Diamer-Bhasha Dam case, is adding to the despondency of the G-B people. The Shandur case remains unsolved even though a committee has been constituted to look into the problem. The situation turned grave last year after the Gilgit polo team went against a seven-decade-old tradition and decided not to play with Chitral. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has reportedly given Wapda a go-ahead signal regarding the Diamer Bhasha Dam, without first settling the issue. Opposition leader in G-B Assembly Bashir Ahmed, who hails from ...

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Kalabagh Dam: A lingering controversy

The construction of proposed Kalabagh dam evokes strong opposition in some parts of the country while it receives support from other sections of our society. The provinces had been at odds with each other on the proposed hydroelectric project conceived decades ago, stipulating building of another dam on the Indus River, having the capacity to generate 3,600 MW electricity, besides serving as a major water reservoir. The debate surrounding the project is wide-ranging, from the very need to build large dams to fair compensation for displaced persons to the adverse environmental and social impacts. A few studies are available on these ...

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