The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the Kalabagh dam (KBD) is one of the most unfortunate mega project in the history of Pakistan.
It has suffered setbacks owing to political interference, especially by the politicians of two provinces who continue to oppose it without knowing the benefits and ground realities.
There is a strong lobby which does not want to see this dam being constructed, the same lobby continue to delay Thar coal project, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal,.
Reputed engineers and technocrats continue to recommend since decades that the survival of the country lies in the construction of Kalabagh dam but governments have not moved in that direction, he said while talking to Raja Jahangir Akhtar, who is on hunger strike for the construction of dams.
He said that for long time government offered additional profit to coal power generation companies that discouraged investment in hydel power generation.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that there should be a national debate by politicians, engineers, qualified people and all stakeholders from all the provinces to take a decision about the Kalabagh dam.
He said that Tarbela Dam has been eroded by 70 per cent which will complete its age in 2029. On the other hand KBD will have a storage capacity of 6.1 million acre feet minimum and a life span of 450 years, according to an estimate.
In 1960 per capita availability for every Pakistani was 5100 cubic meter which has receded to 975 cubic meter by now which is a great threat to agriculture, Industry, economy and country.
He said that construction of Tarbela dam helped Sindh get seven million acre feet additional water while KBD will provide 22 MAF additional water to Sindh helping it boost agriculture and industry and double cotton crop.
KBD will save province of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa from floods and irrigate a million acre of arid land which will revolutionize economy of that province, said Dr. Mughal.