Lahore, November 30, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday welcomed the Lahore High Court’s decision on Kalabagh Dam and termed it inevitable because of an acute shortage of energy, fast depleting irrigation water resources and frequent occurrence of floods in Indus basin.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that the LHC verdict has given a new lease of life to people that are suffering because of multiple reasons including non-availability of electricity.
The LCCI Office-bearers said that the Federal Government should implement the LHC verdict to save arable lands from turning barren and useless. Only because of government silence over Kalabagh dam, country is suffering annulay a loss of Rs 132 billion annually. This amount could be saved by initiating construction of Kalabagh Dam.
The LCCI office-bearers said that there is no threat to Nowshehra city as it is 150 feet above the water level. They said that it was very unfortunate that the decision makers in this country had nothing to lose rather they continue to enjoy all perks under the sky even if they make a wrong decision, it the masses who suffer. Same is happening today, there is no electricity, but the politicians and the top bureaucrats all are getting it free of cost.
They said that Kalabagh Dam, was not only beneficial to Punjab alone but it would be more helpful in erasing poverty from Khyber Pakhtun Khawa as would be irrigate 800000 acres of cultivable land that is located 100-150 feet above the Indus river level in the province. They said this land could only be brought under cultivation if the river level is raised that is only possible if Kalabagh Dam is built. They said the other alternative is to pump the water that is very costly.
They said that creditable studies have indicated that pumping water for potential cultivable land would cost farmers Rs 5000 per acre per year while canal water after construction of Kalabagh Dam would cost only Rs400 per acre per year.
They said that a further delay in gathering a consensus from all stakeholders on the construction of unduly politicized Kalabagh Dam will cost this country and its coming generations very dearly.
They said that all the stakeholders should show some greater maturity on the issue of Kalabagh dam. It is high time that all baseless reservations should be brushed aside to save the country from that era of darkness for us.
They said that unlike Pakistan, India is constructing dams at every possible site. It has left us decades behind and coming time does not promise any good thing either. The LCCI office-bearers that every one knows that the existing dams are constantly silting up leaving ever decreasing capacity to store water.
The construction of Kalabagh dam along with other new dams is desperately needed to store adequate water. According to a conservative estimate about 30 million acre feet of water is being wasted into the sea because the country has no big water reservoirs to store it.
More importantly, as a result of melting of glaciers due to global warming, a sword of Damocles remains hanging over our heads in the shape of floods. An opinion gained widespread support across the country that the losses of recent floods in Pakistan which are estimated to be more than 45 billion dollars could have been reduced if big dams and water reservoirs were in place.
They said that another significant aspect connected with the construction of Kalabagh Dam is the surety of sufficient amount of electricity at comparatively much cheaper price. The country’s dependence on power generated through thermal sources is costing us way too much causing to face insurmountable challenges to remain competitive both in national and international markets.
Another significant aspect connected with the construction of Kalabagh Dam is the surety of sufficient amount of greener and cheaper electricity. Electricity generation through thermal sources is estimated to cost almost Rs.16 per unit whereas the same can be produced at Rs.2.5 to Rs.3 through Hydel.
They said that the present scenario leads to import oil worth over US$ 12 billion a year which is costing us dearly while causing to face insurmountable challenges to remain competitive both in national and international markets.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 885