• TheNews International
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • rss

The untold facts — II

Kalabagh Dam has been scorned by three provinces and pressing for the project further may jeopardise national unity and inter-provincial harmony

The untold facts — II
Rampant damming and diversions of Indus during the recent decades have changed the flood regime in the Kachho areas.

Standards of engineering and hydrology require reliability of surplus flows for around ten months in a year to justify a new reservoir. Applying simple arithmetic on the author Zafar Mahmood’s own data negates the claim of surplus water and thus water for new storages is simply not available.

No irrigation and dam expert on earth would countenance occasional excessive flows as the basis for a large on-stream dam. In cases of extremely high flows like the 2010 floods, no dam would have been able to absorb a deluge of this magnitude. This has also been acknowledged by the author Mahmood.

Another important fact that has been ignored by him is the likely reduction of the inflow of Kabul River in the coming years. About 17 MAF water annually enters Pakistan through the Kabul River. It is estimated that the country may suffer approx 15-17 per cent drop in water supply from Afghanistan after construction of 13 dams on the Kabul River in Afghanistan.

The flow data monitored at Attock shows that Kabul River’s flow has sharply declined from 28 MAF in 1937-38 to 19 MAF in 2006-07. Future diversion in Afghanistan may eventually reduce the surplus for storage to a net deficit. In brief, the surplus water is not available in most of the recorded years and the available data does not corroborate the myth of wastage below Kotri. The future outlook is even grimmer in the wake of rapidly-changing climatic pattern and acrimonious relations with Afghanistan.

Wapda’s vagaries on the proposed two off-taking canals from the dam body is another thorny issue. Initial design of the dam clearly provided two canals on both sides of the dam. Although the World Bank experts did not endorse the proposition of stub tunnels on economic grounds, Wapda had desired for these canals to be part of the project. Another former chairman of Wapda, Shams-ul-Mulk, is a staunch supporter of these canals and has been publicly advocating for these canals to irrigate the southern parts of KP. Hence, the original design was not merely meant to store 6 MAF in the lake but also required almost the same amount of additional flows through each of the aforementioned two canals.

Zafar Mahmood mentions that the revised design presented to the CDWP/ECNEC in 1989 does not include these canals. However, the revised design has not yet been formally approved by the competent forums and the pro-dam lobbies in Wapda have not yet abandoned their plans for these canals. The author has also avoided discussing as to why Bhasha Dam has been put on the back-burner for several years.

Read also: The untold facts — I

The feasibility of Bhasha Dam has already been completed and it was expected to be completed within seven years. As per schedule, this dam should have been commissioned by now. An inexplicably slouchy execution of the Bhasha Dam project seems a deliberate attempt to keep the Kalabagh Dam project alive.

No one can imagine the miseries of people living on both sides of Indus spread over 100 kilometres between Kotri barrage and sea during lean years. If 35 MAF water is being wasted to the sea, why is the Indus delta experiencing an unrelenting ecological havoc?

Zafar Mahmood has discussed the impact of Kalabagh dam on the riverine area (kachho/sailaba) and the Indus delta in the episode 16 and 17 respectively. The author has indicated that KBD consultants had conducted a study on the need of irrigating the Kachho area. However, Sindh objected to the findings and demanded a fresh study which could not be conducted yet.

In the 1980s, Wapda commissioned a consortium of six consulting firms called Kalabagh Consultants (KBC) to study various aspects of the Kalabagh Dam. The consortium produced a very detailed report in 1983. The report “Kalabagh Dam Project Planning Report” spread over 13 volumes and scores of memorandums encompassed several aspects of the dam, but surprisingly the report did not include any volume on impacts of the dam on lower riparian areas such as the impact on Kachho area and the Indus delta. Who developed the terms of reference (ToRs) of the study and why such important dimensions were not included in the ToRs is an enigma.

Between Kashmore and Indus, the Kaccho area of Sindh is spread over more than two million acres. It is roughly divided into the present and the abandoned river channels (600,000 acres), forest lands (450,000 acres), roads, settlements and government structures (50,000 acres) and agriculture land (one million acres). Reliable estimates of the population in Kachho are not available, however a conservative count puts it close to one million.

Traditionally people in Kachho/sailaba area would abandon their abodes during the monsoon season and return after recession of flood. Leaving tons of nutrient rich silt and recharged aquifer, the floods used to be a boon for kachho community. People would just strew seed to have bumper harvests in the post-flood season. Sailaba area had been a breadbasket of Sindh. Seasonal inundation of kachho would herald rich seasonal harvest. Profusion of cereals, pulses and dairy and forest products would guarantee prosperous livelihood for the kachho community.

However, rampant damming and diversions of Indus during the recent decades have changed the flood regime entirely. Before Tarbela Dam, the Kachho area of Sindh received a flood of 300,000 cusecs almost every year and a flood of 500,000 cusecs for 77 per cent (three out of four) years. Tarbela Dam and other barrages have completely altered the flood pattern. Construction of any other dam will further curtail flows to the Kachho area. The situation is likely to aggravate during low flow years, potentially depriving hundreds of thousands of people of their livelihood in the Kachho area of Sindh.

The flow data monitored at Attock shows that Kabul River’s flow has sharply declined.

The flow data monitored at Attock shows that Kabul River’s flow has sharply declined.

Indus delta has become a case study for international research bodies to learn how upstream development unleashes ecological disaster in the downstream. The notion of 35 MAF wastage to sea, a handiwork of Wapda, has already been discussed at length. A misperception has been manufactured that 35 MAF water is flowing into the sea whereas Sindh needs only 8 MAF for its ecological balance in delta. What is dexterously masked under averages is the fact that between 1999-2000 and 2010-11 there were five years when flows below Kotri were not even 5 MAF. In year 2000-2001 and 2004-05, not even one MAF water crossed the gates of Kotri barrage.

No one can imagine the miseries of people living on both sides of Indus spread over 100 kilometres between Kotri barrage and sea during such lean years. If 35 MAF water is really being wasted to the sea, why is the Indus delta experiencing an unrelenting ecological havoc? This simple logic corroborates the claim that Indus delta needs much more than the current flows for its ecological sustenance. More than two million acres of land in coastal districts of Sindh have been devoured by the sea.

A few months ago, experts informed a Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology that if urgent remedies were not employed, Thatta and Badin will be submerged by 2050 and Karachi by 2060. This ominous warning came from the experts of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). The experts mentioned that for 300 days in a year, water did not flow to sea, which is a major causative factor behind incessant sea intrusion. This environmental catastrophe is completely obscured by illusory averages of excess flow to sea.

The Kalabagh Dam consultants’ marvel of 13 volumes did not find it worth studying as one of the most obvious impact of any large dam. Those busy in mourning the 35 MAF wastage to sea have never bothered to visit the delta. Millions of impoverished people are paying the price on a daily basis to sustain the prosperity enjoyed upstream.

While water bureaucracy takes pride in boasting dams and barrages for a massive increase in per acre yield, it easily turns blind eyes to the agonies endured by the delta dwellers. Coastal forest, fish stock, sources of livelihood and the whole ecosystem has been devastated in the coastal areas of Sindh.

Although Sindh had been clamouring on this injustice for decades, Wapda could not install any credible monitoring mechanism to observe the trend of sea intrusion. Simple data on a creeping boundary of tidal accretion, quality of subsoil water and salt content in the soil could easily establish scientific evidence if Wapda could not afford the commonly-available advanced technology. Premier environmental research and advocacy bodies like International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) have conducted various research studies to prove that upstream diversion has caused irreversibly detrimental effects on the delta.

Kalabagh Dam has been scorned by three provinces and pressing for the project further would jeopardise a much-eroded national unity and inter-provincial harmony.

Concluded

Naseer Memon

naseer memon
Naseer Memon is a human rights activist and civil society professional. He may be reached at [email protected]

95 comments

  • Bhasha dam will be dependent only on snow melt from the glaciers, there are no tribuatries of the Indus flowing into it, and it is outside the monsoon range. If Bhasha can be considered to have enough water to justify its construction, why not Kalabagh dam which will have five big tributaries of the Indus namely Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan flowing into it, plus 30 maf of monsoons. Both dams are on the same river, both will store water for irrigation, both will generate power, both will control floods, if KBD affects flood irrigation of the sailaba area, so will Bhasha dam, if KBD aggravates the environment of the Indus delta, so will Bhasha dam. Then why Bhasha dam and not Kalabagh dam.

    • There is much difference between KBD & Bashsa dam, however it is also important that we dont have such water which is claimed by WAPDA, and writer has rightly mentioned the factor of reducing flow of Kabul river….upper riparian has always deprived the right of water of lower riparian & even now all provinces are objecting Punjab is not giving them water despite of many documented guarantees…now question arises who will guarantee to small provinces that in future all provinces would be given their due right of water..??
      exaggerating facts have further made people doubtful like 35 MAF water is being wasted and going to the sea, its white lie…if you visit the area of kotri barrage you will witness the miseries of people their and they have no water for drinking…

    • Dear Khurshid Anwar shb, we respect your opinion on KBD but put word of clear stance against the KBD. I would to like to draw your attention to Indus River System that is comprised of various vains channeling the water needs to all stakeholders. The costs and benefits of building Indus Basin and maintaing its ecological balance is not a child’s play; as it needs fair attention and even distribution to run the wheel of lives of hundreds and thousands who are dependent on agriculture as a only means to their end. Sindh being the lower riparian of Indus System succumbs to variety of challenges that are environmental, economic, and livelihood associated with upstream water development. Technically, the chairman WAPDA should come up with more representative and less controversial models to alley the fears of all federating units, but he preferred to stay partisan supporting one province against the rest. It is not a water reservoir alone but the Dam associated with lives of lower riparia

  • One of the main concerns is that Punjab will usurp Sindh’s share of water because Kalabagh dam is in Punjab. Is AJK taking too much water from Mangla dam because the dam is in AJK. Is K-P taking too much power from Tarbela dam because the dam is in K-P. Dams and rivers are national assets and are under the jurisdiction of federal agencies. Wapda is distributing power from the dams and IRSA is distributing water to all the stake holders as per agreed quotas. Sindh has three votes in IRSA (Sindh delegate, federal delegate also from Sindh, and Balochistan delegate who always votes with the Sindh delegate because Sindh controls supply to Balochistan), against only one vote for Punjab.

    • How many times had the predominantly Punjabi military staged coups in the country? Get real. If Punjab gets the tools to steal, it will steal. It always has. Thank you The News for giving space to Sindh’s perspective.

    • Dear Khurshed sb, thank you for your comments. Bhasha dam is a better option compared to KBD for few reasons (i) the site does not offer any chance for off taking canals as proposed for KBD and has been a major concern of Sindh (ii) Sindh has a concern that during the low flow years Punjab will prefer to store water in KBD rather than releasing it for the needs of the lower riparian. Since Bhasha is in the upper reaches of Indus it will not hinder the flow of Kabul river and the runoff generated below the dam site, and will let them to flow in Indus even during the low flow years. (iii) Bhasha will trap good amount of silt and this likely to increase useful life of Tarbela dam. Finally if both dams serve the same purpose then why not to go ahead with Bhasha first which is not controversial and does not cost inter-provincial harmony. Regards

  • We strongly condemn the wapda chairmain for campaigning kbd illegally and voilets the resolution of three independent nations entity. He has no right to launch the campaign. We strongly oppose both dams kbd and basha dam.. Or any dam which hold the river indus water. Only the the dams are vaiable which are build on the run of river. Not for storage.

    The floods are naturally life of echo system. No any flood can harm too much than the dam.

    This is the historical evil movement of punjab since the union jack era to controll the indus water and divert to punjab areas. This is unacceptable at any cost

  • It’s matter of life and death for Sindh, whoever are in favour of Dam came to dealt area and see the result of constructing dams.

  • Kalabagh dam is not feasible from surface water and ground water engineering perspective. Also catastrophic damages in the downstream areas are an eye opener for all who blindly support dam. On top 3 provincial assemblies rejected this mega project. What need more Wapda Chairman and other Pakistan loving people.

    • Fact sheet
      Mangla and Tarbela dams increased supplies to Sindh from 35.6 maf before Mangla to 44.5 maf after Tarbela, an increase of 8.9 maf with which Sindh was able to cultivate 2 million acres.

      Why the Indus still looks depleted is because the 14 big canals on the 3 barrages in Sindh are consuming all the water to meet the increased demand of irrigation water for a population of 20 crore.

      We need both Kalabagh and Bhasha dam to meet the ever growing shortages and to irrigate 22 million acres lying barren.

      Under the Water Accord of 1991 IRSA was instituted to distribute river waters independent of the provinces.

      Sindh’s share in all future dams was increased by decreasing Punjab’s share.

      36 maf flowed below Kotri last year during the three flood months, but the delta needs regular flow over the twelve months by regulation through a dam.

      I am open to discussion on this subject on which depends the survival of the country – [email protected]

  • Thanks to naseer memon for advocating the case of sindh with solid awnsers and thanks to
    ” the news ” newspaper for posting the point of view……
    We strongly condemn the wapda chairmain for campaigning kbd illegally and voilets the resolution of three independent nations entity. He has no right to launch the campaign. We strongly oppose both dams kbd and basha dam.. Or any dam which hold the river indus water. Only the the dams are vaiable which are build on the run of river. Not for storage.

    The floods are naturally life of echo system. No any flood can harm too much than the dam.

    This is the historical evil movement of punjab since the union jack era to controll the indus water and divert to punjab areas. This is unacceptable at any cost

    Thanks to ” the news ” newspaper for posting the both point of views.

  • Kala Bagh Dam is highly contravercial project and ling awaited wish of one and only province of Pakistan. The rest of three provinces have entirely rejected it. Sindh, perticulerly, has severe objections over it, and termed death warrants for Sindh. Sindh has been proving this poisonous project on every ground including, technically, social, environmentally, ethically, constitutionally, religiously and by each and every manner. Naseer Memon’s series of articles of are also the connection of these great efforts. He has logically responded to Zafer Mehmood, Shamsul Mulk and other pro-dam lobbies. people of Sindh thanked The News to give space to millions of people of Sindh.

  • نصير سائين ! اوهانجو هي مضمون انتهائي وقتائتو ۽ ڪارائتو آهي. ڪلاباغ ڊيم بابت جيترو رينگٽ ڪيو پيو وڃي جيڪڏهن ملڪ جي حاڪمن کي توانائيءَ جو ايترو سور هجي ها ته پوءِ ڪوئلي مان اها حاصل ڪرڻ تي کين ڪهڙو تپ ٿو چڙهي ؟ جڏهن 3 صوبا انهيءَ کي رد ڪري چڪا آهن ته پوءِ به انهيءَ رٿا جو ڪلمو پڙهڻ کانئن وسري ڇو نٿو. شمس الملڪ جڏهن واپڊا جو ڇيئرمين هو تڏهن اسان به ساڻس لاهور وڃي مليا هئاسون. خواھ مخواھ بڪواس ۽ ڪوڙا انگ اکر پيش ڪري ڇيو هئائين ته منظوري ملڻ بعد ان تي ڪم شرروع ٿي ويندو. سائيٽ تي وياسين ته سندس نسورو ڪوڙ پڌرو ٿي پيو. تڏهوڪن ڏڏينهن ۾ نه رڳو ڪالاباغ جي سائيٽ پر خود ٿل ڪئنال جو ڪم به هنگامي بنيادن تي ٿي رهيو هو. ااوهان درست ڳالهيون رکيون آهن ۽ شاباش آهي دي نيوز وارن کي جن اوهانجو آرٽيڪل شايع ڪيو آهي. پاڻيءَ جي ورڇ جي حوالي سا ارسا جون جيڪي مختلف وقتن تي بدمعاشيون ٿي رهيون آهن ان بابت به ڪو آرٽيڪل لکو ته جيئن سڀني کي موجودا معلومات ملي سگهي

  • Thank u The news for publish the brilliant analysis of Naseer memon.i fully endorse the naseer,Kalabagh Dam is the like dad horse now i could not understand why Punjab impose forcibly kalabagh dam on us ,infect the 3 provincial assemblies reject the mega project.it is clear that sindh ,kpk ,balochistan never accept the kalabagh dam or any other dam on indus river.

    thank u naseer for your perfect analysis .

  • If federal Govt. is not intentionally implementing law to force gas companies for giving priority to locals in jobs then how federal Govt. will stop Punjab from stealing water?. Punjab can’t be compared with KPK and Kashmir because they don’t need water for irrigation but Punjab does

  • The provincial assemblies of Sindh, Punjab and KPK have passed resolution against the construction of Kala Bag dam. These three assemblies are the representatives of the citizens of all three provinces and they showed their concern over this project. The project has technical as well political problems that are why it is neither political nor technically feasible. Secondly many committees formed on water issues have also rejected the construction of Kala Bagh dam on the availability of water issues.
    The Kala bag dam is controversial project why than still WAPDA and few journalists are emphasizing the construction of this dam? Why don’t we go to other options? Why WAPDA does not share with people of Punjab that’s world is now against the construction of big dams? How many big dams have been abolished in USA, Thailand and other countries? Why worlds largest anti dam movement exist in Gugrat province of India?

  • Thanks to The News for publishing the stance representing Sindh on an issue/important matter. In fact, this is a matter life and death for people living in Sindh. We request the authorities concerned to loo into matter of sea intrusion, devastating situation in delta area and the situation of water scarcity even for drinking purposes for people living in tail area of Indus/Indus delta. On so many occasions, we heard that “water released to sea is being wasted” but in fact coastal life needs more than that we are realising the water. The is issue of survival for life in coastal belt as well as maintain buffer zone – to combat the disasters! Thanks to Nasee Memon sb for presenting the case with facts and figures, so is there any argument needed for the decision makers especially pro-kala bagh lobby to withdraw fro their ill-intended project!

  • Abdul Sattar Perhyar

    We, People of Sindh, appreciate the efforts of The NEWS newspaper who published a detailed article of Naseer Memon which is the voice of all Sindh…it is a conspiracy to alive time and again this controversial issue of construction of Kalabagh dam….I appeal to all, who are supporter of Kalabagh dam that please stop such propaganda and work on construction of other small dams, which shall be fruitful for Pakistan.
    I once again say thank u naseer for your perfect analysis .

  • kalabagh dam is against kpk,balochistan and sindh, it means it is cleared that dam is against pakistan, whereas punjab is in favour of kalabagh dam it means is that punjab is against pakistan. memon sahb=s article carried by newspaper is appreciable.we peoples are admire such kind of efforts which shows the conspiracy against pakistan by punjab

  • Thanks the news to publish these articles about KBD .
    I agree with Saen Nasir’s opinion about facts and figers

  • The Kalabagh Dam issue must be laid to rest for good now. Sindh & Punjab can work together to rebuild confidence and respecting the opinion of the smaller provinces will go a long way in helping bridge the trust gap. Pakistan’s establishment must look forward to healing old wounds instead of reopening them for petty political gains.

    The news has played its part well by presenting the otherside of the argument. Sindh joins Balochistan & KPK in opposing this unfortunate scheme that seeks to control our common waters at the detriment of the lower riparians.

  • Dear Memon sb, thank you for your response, we have to settle one point before we go into other objections against KBD. Opposition to KBD is mostly because of the assembly resolutions which say that KBD will deplete the Indus, damage the delta environment and cause untold misery to the people. They are going by past experience of Mangla and Tarbela dams which in their opinion have done all these damages. I am afraid this is totally wrong. The verifiable fact is that the two dams increased supply to Sindh and did not cause any of the damages being attributed to them, why the Indus still looks depleted is because of increased demand for irrigation water due population growth from 8 crore to 20 crore since Tarbela dam was commissioned 40 years ago. This clearly shows that these apprehensions against KBD are based on misinformation because of the ignorance of the assembly members. When the very basis of the opposition to KBD is wrong how can we condemn KBD on these basis. (continued)

  • Faqeer Muhammad laghari

    I am the inhabitant of the lower southern Sindh where the delta is said to exist. The yearly water income in the canals merely make quarter of the year. The word gushing waters is probably the word of another language for us. The crops that were used to be a boon are no more available for us as the water insecurity for the crops is the order of the day. The delta life is almost at the verge of the end. The creeping of the sea each year is devouring our lands , our lives,our echo system .the concerned authorities should take notice, matter be not seen with the lens of the one province rather the stakeholders should be the one who will suffer the most.

    • Faqeer Muhammad Laghari sb,
      and other friends who complain of water shortage.

      As I keep saying Mangla and Tarbela dams have not caused this water shortage, the two dams increased supplies to Sindh by 25%, the withdrawal in Sindh canals increased from the pre-Mangla 35.6 maf to post-Tarbela 44.5,an increase of 8.9 maf with which Sindh was able to cultivate an additional 2 million acres, but that was 40 years ago, the demand for water has increased manifold and population has increased from 8 crore to 20 crore since Tarbela dam was commissioned, but we have not built any dam for 40 years and the Indus is running dry again, It is the same ignorance again and again, we will not allow a dam to be built on the Indus at Kalabagh but will wait 15 years for Bhasha dam also on the Indus. Laghari sb, please tell me who is at fault, those who want to build the dam or those who are against it. It is only when educated people in Sindh start questioning the politicians that there can any hope.

  • Dear Memon sb, we have seen that most objections to KBD are not based on facts. Sindh fears that Punjab will take too much water from the left bank canal, Sindh fears that Punjab will fill the dam when water is required downstream, Sindh fears that Punjab will take 6 maf not only from the dam but also take the same amount from the tunnels etc. You completely ignore that it is IRSA which will decide all these things and Sindh has three votes in IRSA against only one vote for Punjab. You are not concerned that without the left bank canal north Punjab will not get any water from any dam on the Indus, be it Kalabagh, Tarbela, Bhasha, Akhori or Skardu. What good is intra-province harmony to Punjab if it cannot get water from any future dam, what will be the future of agriculture in Pakistan if the largest tract of cropland is deprived of the water of all future dams. (continued)

    • Dear Khurshid Anwer sb, I would recommend that the Govt of Pakistan should commission and independent audit of Tarbela and Mangla dams. While their benefits in agriculture sector are often quoted are well recognised and appreciated, it is equally important to establish their environmental , social and economic repercussions on the downstream areas in Punjab and Sindh specially. The audit may establish the economic cost paid by communities in sailaba areas, Indus delta, loss of forest, livelihood resources and the cost of sea intrusion. Benefits accrued at the upstream should not obscure the cost paid at the downstream. People in sailaba areas of Punjab and Sindh and communities of Indus delta also belong to Pakistan and it will be unfair if the price paid by them is not accounted for. We need to look at the balance sheet to learn that who benefited and who paid the price for prosperity of the others. Development efficacy is not judged by overall benefits only. Regards

      • Respected Memon sb, certainly let us get the survey done, how can two dams which increased river supplies from 83 maf to 104 maf do all the damage which is being attributed to them, the damage took place because the demand kept on increasing, mouths to feed increased from 8 crore to 20 crore in the 40 years since Tarbela dam was commissioned, but the supply remained the same, situation at the delta started deteriorating when Kotri barrage was built and 4 big canals were taken out of it, Karachi is already getting 650 million gallons per day (mgd) from Kotri barrage through Keenjhar lake, now under the K–1V scheme another 260 mgd will be pumped out of the lake in the first phase, another 260 mgd in the second phase and finally 130 mgd to make up the full requirement of 1000 mgd, IRSA has said it does not have the water but now the same sob story of Punjab and Sindh will come into play (continued).

  • Dear Memon sb, You are not concerned that the flood waters of Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan rivers should keep causing flood havoc every year in south Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. One would accept the dam to be controversial if this was for the right reasons, but not if it has been made controversial through the very dubious assembly resolutions. Both dams are on the same river; both will store water; both will generate power; if KBD affects flood irrigation of the Sailaba area, so will Bhasha dam; if KBD damages the environment at the Indus delta, so will Bhasha dam, the why not build the small, cheaper, easier and the one with half the construction time.
    ————————————–

    • Dear Khurshed Anwer sb, thank you for raising the flood aspect in debate. Zafar Mehmood sb in his articles himself has recognised that the magnitude of flood in 2010 was too enormous to be absorbed by any day of the size of KBD. I rather feel that this level of water stress would have been a great risk for the dam body and it could have devastating effects for the poor people of Punjab in case of any catastrophic consequences. There are several examples where collapse of dam bodies have devastated communities in the immediate downstream. Tarbela itself was not less vulnerable to this scale of floods. We need to learn the art of flood management. Tempering river regime has actually made floods malevolent that used to be a benevolence before the dams and barrages. Flood management in the context of climate change deserves an exclusive approach not confined to dams only. Regards

  • Being a student of University of Sindh, I cross river indus on daily basis to reach university since 2014. In this experience, I have never seen bottom-covered of Indus river with water below the Kotri barrage. Many batchmates from Thatha and Badin have same stories of miseries due to water-shortage, to tell which I read and analyse through media.
    So NO to kBD.
    Thanks TNS for giving space Sindh’s stance fully

  • Thanks the news to publish these articles about KBD .
    I agree with Saen Nasir memon opinion about facts and figers

  • jamal mahmood khuhro

    KBD is a political issue, anti sindh forcess and politicain use only for thier intrests, a project reject by three provinces , why you want that, if our govt serious in water issues you sall be start other project . but we prove that in pakistan only one province means pakistan and other provinces are collonies of punjab, if you want pakistan plz stop KBD issue.

  • jamal mahmood khuhro

    stop KBD

  • jamal mahmood khuhro

    if you want soverignty of pakistan ,you must stop issue of KBD becauase three provinces reject project. but our govt show only one province is pakistan and rest provinces is not part of this country , three provinces are colonies of punjab. my dear if you want palistan plz stop thats paracts. our govt not sencere irrigations project , from tharty years you sing a song of KBD , why not start other projects . KBD is only political issue , a political party name of KBD doing politics in one province and they gain only votes in name of KBD,

  • KBD IS dead end chapter of pak history .it has been unanimously rejected by all three provincial assemblies with overwhelming majority more than thrice at different intervals .construction of this mega dam would bear grave consequences to the integration n stability of federation n deprive the lower riparian of sindh delata the source of livilhood n sustainence of life in balnced manner and if less than 10Maf amount of water is not allowed down stream kotri would cause immense sea erosion n vast tract of arrable land would be engulfed into the sea and lower sindh major areas of badin n thatta would cease to exist till 2k50 as revealed the report international oceanography depicting murkier picture of the delata.naseer sb efforts in this regard are highly commendable n more over appreciting the mgt of this reknowned paper giving sufficient space to explain n elaborating the view point of sindh n sindhis masses over the disastrous aspects of KBD. Wapda chairman s mindboggling campaign in

    • KBD IS dead end chapter of pak history .it has been unanimously rejected by all three provincial assemblies with overwhelming majority more than thrice at different intervals .construction of this mega dam would bear grave consequences to the integration n stability of federation n deprive the lower riparian of sindh delata the source of livilhood n sustainence of life in balnced manner and if less than 10Maf amount of water is not allowed down stream kotri would cause immense sea erosion n vast tract of arrable land would be engulfed into the sea and lower sindh major areas of badin n thatta would cease to exist till 2k50 as revealed the report international oceanography depicting murkier picture of the delata.naseer sb efforts in this regard are highly commendable n more over appreciting the mgt of this reknowned paper giving sufficient space to explain n elaborating the view point of sindh n sindhis masses over the disastrous aspects of KBD. Wapda chairman s mindboggling campaign is

  • Ex chairman s mindboggling campaign in favor of KBD leaves all the people in three provinces stunned n surprised that how come chief of any org with his tenure post encompassing horrible project at the cost million of masses at the source of his own position n previlge tantamount to be condemned with stern stance n mass public opinion.

  • Its very much alarming that still usurpers in lobbies of bureaucrats are still crying for kalabag dam? Three highly elected forums/PAs have rejected kalabagh dam not only for technical reasons but also for socio-economic and political reasons, still WAPDA supporters are crying for dam? Will they build dam on cost of three provinces? Federation will face issues if kalabagh dam project see light of the day. I think federal government close all doors for kalabagh and ask WAPDA to use their leaders energies on alternate sources of water storage. Sindh rives is large than life and have great natural spots from Kashmir to Ketibunder, Sindh. In Sindh, from Sukkur to Ketibunder their are so many sites where carryover dams can be build, if WAPDA shows sincerity. I think time of getting electricity from only water source has been gone and now so many other sources like Wind (Sindh is producing 300 MW from Wind Power plant at Jhirk Thatta), Solar Energy & above all Thar coal energy can be useful.

  • Dear Memon sb, people of Sindh are really thankful to you and The News for publishing such informative article, and nice response to Chairman WAPDA on his writings on the issue, being government employee he don’t supposed to do so. The people supporting KBD, i will suggest them to visit the past history of water injustice with Sindh and other provinces by Punjab, whether it is related with Thall cannal, Both link canals are taking water from Indus 12 months of a year, both were supposed to take water during flood season of monsoon. Are water accords are being implemented or agreed water amount is being released in downstream, the people even have shortage of drinking water, the answer will be no. So we are requesting to authorities to don’t impose decisions on other units of federation, they have equail rights as elder brother is enjoying.

  • Thanks The News for the article of Mr. Naseer memon regarding Kalabag Dam.

    The fats depicted by Mr. Memon in his article are best fit to rescind the campaign for Kalabag Dam.

  • Summary of comments

    - Three assemblies have rejected KBD – in their ignorance they say KBD will deplete the Indus and deprive Sindh of water, just like Mangla and Tarbela dams have done. They don’t even know that the two dams increased supplies by 25%, Sindh canals which were getting 35.6 maf before Mangla started getting 44.5 maf after Tarbela, an increase of 8.9 maf with which Sindh was able to cultivate an additional 2 million acres.

    - Punjab not giving water – after the Water Accord of 1991 a new federal body IRSA was entrusted with distribution of water, provinces can only raise ten day indents of their requirement to IRSA and have no direct control over the supply of water to their canals, but people still keep blaming Punjab for not giving them water. Incidentally, Sindh has three votes in IRSA against only one vote for Punjab (Sindh, federal, and Balochistan delegate who always votes with the Sindh delegate because Sindh controls supply to Balochistan).
    (continued

  • Summary of comments .2.

    -. Misery of the delta people – 36 maf escaped to the sea last year and 10.7 have gone the same way already, but all of it in 70 days, the rest of the year the delta remains dry and at the mercy of the sea and the people at the mercy of nature. Water needs to be stored and a regulated amount released every month for year round protection of the delta and its people, but that will require a dam to be built

    - Given a chance Punjab will steal – a monitoring team of engineers from the Sindh irrigation dept are posted at major head works of Punjab, they are in daily communication with their head office but have not reported any mis-appropriation of water. Theft does not take place at dams and barrages which are well manned, theft takes place on the canals within each province, where the ‘wadera’ and the ‘zamendars’ use their clout to rob the tail-enders
    (continued)

  • Summary of comments .3.
    -.”We oppose both KBD and Bhasha” – and where will we get water to irrigate the 22 million acres lying barren, 80% in Sindh, the worst thing the assembly members have done is to turn people against the dams through misinformation, the two dams have been sustaining industry and agriculture of the country for 40 years, the shortages and the damages are because storage, hence the supply, has not increased along with the demand.
    Do the members know that 84% of the flow in our rivers takes place in the flood season when demand for irrigation water is low, and only 16% in the remaining nine months when demand in the dry Rabi period is high. If the surplus in the wet period is not stored in dams, there will be serious shortage in the dry period (IRSA is very worried that Tarbela dam could not be filled to its maximum capacity).
    Do the members know that we are storing only 10% of the annual river flows against a world average of 40%.
    Do the – - –
    (continued)

  • Summary of comments .4.
    -. Do they know the very negative effects of this low storage:
    1. because of the low storage and the increase in population the amount of water available for each person in the year has decreased from 5000 cubic meters in 1947 to only a little above 1000 cu presently , per-capita, per-annum availabiility will categorise Pakistan as a water-scarce country

  • Summary of comments .5.
    Last sentence in .4. should read: ‘per-capita, per-annum availability of water less than 1000 cu m will categorise Pakistan as a ‘water-scarce’ country, not much better than ‘Thar’.
    2. our reserve storage for any contingency is very low at 30 days against a world average of 200 days.
    3. our storage capacity for handling floods is also very low.
    It will be seen how important it is to increase our storage capacity.

    -. “Floods cannot harm as much as the dam” – no comment.
    -.” Movement to controll the indus water and divert to punjab areas” –
    completely ignores the role of IRSA in which Sindh has three votes to one for Punjab, also ignores that under the Water Accord of 1991, Punjab agreed to a reduction in its share to increase Sindh’s share in all future dams.

    The above also shows complete ignorance of the Water Accord of 1991, distribution of river waters was taken away from Wapda and entrusted

  • Summary of comments .5.

    The last sentence in .4.. should read: less than 1000 cu m per-capita, per-annum availability of water will categorise Pakistan as a ‘water-scarce’ country,not much better than ‘Thar

    2. we have a contingency reserve storage of only 30 days against a world average of 200 days.

    3. we do not have enough storage space to handle floods.

    It will be seen how important it is to increase our storage capacity.

  • Summary of comments .6.
    -. “It’s matter of life and death for Sindh” – this was also said when Tarbela dam was being built, but Tarbela dam gave 8.9 maf (44.5-35.6) of life giving water to Sindh and an additional 2 million acres were cultivated in Sindh. The condition of the delta ia as you describe because the 14 big canals on the 3 barrages in Sindh are consuming all the water to meet the increased requirement for irrigation water because the population has doubled in 40 years since Tarbela dam was commissioned but the supply of water remains the same, , after meeting all the demands Sindh irrigation dept is unable to spare any water for the delta. It is obvious that supply i.e. storage has to be increased to improve the situation. If we keep on saying that the dams have done all the damage and we will not build another dam then we are heading for a very serious water crisis because the population will not stop growing, please let me know if you still have any doubts.
    (continue

  • “The plight of the delta people” –
    The situation at the delta deteriorated when Kotri barrage was built and 4 big canals taken out of it, one canal is feeding 650 million gallons per day to Karachi through Keenjhar lake, now the K-4 project will supply water in phases to meet the full 1000 mgd demand of Karachi, Demands increasing every day but no increase in supply which needs increase of storage.

  • Khalid Ahmad sb
    -. Many thanks for your very friendly comment. You have talked of thousands whose livelihood depends on agriculture, agriculture needs water and that is what we all are fighting about, I am for dams and you are against dam . To avoid repetition, kindly go through my many comments to get my view point. As to a more representative and less controversial arrangement, it was exactly for this purpose that after almost two years of deliberations between the four provinces ‘The Water Apportionment Accord of 1991′ came into being. To accommodate the lower riparian Sindh, river water distribution was taken away from Wapda and entrusted to a new federal body IRSA with equal representation, later a federal representative was included, also from Sindh, now Sindh has three votes in IRSA because the Balochistan representative always votes along with the Sindh representative because Sindh controls supply to Balochistan from Sikkur barrage, against only one vote for Punjab (continued)

  • Khalid Ahmad sb Comment summary .7.
    (continued). The provinces have no direct control over the supply to their canals, they submit 10 day indents of their requirements to IRSA which draws up a ‘Distribution Plan’ and instructs Wapda to release water from the dams and barrages accordingly. Under the Accord Punjab has agreed to a reduction in its share to increase Sindh’s share in all “future” dams, equal share for both despite Punjab having a much larger area to irrigate, nothing could be more fair. This was an incentive given to Sindh to bring it on board on the issue of Kalabagh dam. Sindh is a signatory to the Accord which states, “All provinces agree on the necessity of having more dams on all the rivers, including on the Indus”. Sindh cannot get from anywhere else – 37% of 6.1 maf = 2.257 maf of the much needed water, same as for Punjab. This was an excellent opportunity to settle the water issue but it fell victim to politics and ignorance.

  • TV was showing just now that the Indus is changing course and over a stretch of about 70 miles in south Punjab many dozens of villages are losing their lands permanently to the river, the devastation is to be seen to be believed. This happens every year when the flood waters of Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan play havoc with south Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. Only a dam at Kalabagh can stop this annual massacre but we won’t build it because it is in Punjab, we will build Bhasha dam although it cannot trap these floods – - – - -

    Every other person says why build a controversial dam, but is it controversial because of some valid reason or has it been made controversial because of ignorance of the facts. A lot is also said about the resolutions of the three assemblies. Is any assembly member prepared to state the verifiable fact that Mangla and Tarbela dams increased the flow in Sindh canals as per record on the Sindh irrigation dept – - – -
    (continued)

  • (continued) but the assembly members have already stated in their resolution that KBD will deplete the Indus, dry up the delta and cause untold misery to the people, just like Mangla and Tarbela dams had done. This is the misinformation which has made KBD controversial. And we are going to seal the fate of the country because of this falsehood. Do the assembly members know:
    that maximum flow in the rivers takes place in the 70 days of heavy rains when the demand for irrigation water is less, minimum flow takes place in the remaining nine months when the demand for irrigation water is more due to dry weather. If the surplus in the wet period is not stored in dams there will serious shortage in the dry period. Storage capacity is getting less and it is becoming difficult to provide water for the Rabi period. Tarbela dam could not be filled to full capacity and that is causing concern.
    - Know that we are storing only 10% of our annual river flows against a world average of 40%.
    (continu

  • (continued) Have they any idea at all of the dangers the country is being exposed to because of the very low level of storage:

    -. we have only 30 days of storage for any contingency against 200 or more days in other countries. Contingency could be natural like the Hunza lake accident, or man made, India would normally not stop flow in our rivers but, God forbid, in case of hostilities India has enough dam capacity to pose a very lethal threat.

    - we don’t have enough dam capacity to face heavy floods which are likely to increase in intensity and in numbers because of global warming.

    - a measure of availability of water for public consumption is cubic meters, per-capita, per-annum, because of low level of storage and the increase in population we have dropped from 5000 cu m to a little above 1000 cu m, below this the country will be categorized as a ‘water-scarce’ country, not much better than ‘Thar’.

    We must increase storage capacity, Kalabagh in 5 or Bhasha in 15 yrs..

  • Chashma-Jhelum & Taunsa-Panjnad link canals:-

    It is quite wrong to say that C-J and T-P link canals are flood-only canals, Indus Water Treaty could not have ceded the eastern rivers to India without making arrangement for replacement water, hence the ’Replacement Plan’ under which dams, barrages and link canals were built on the western rivers to transfer water to the canals in north and south Punjab. Tarbela dam was to store flood water and route it to C-J and T-P link canals through Chashma and Taunsa barrage. A huge structure like a barrage is built on a river only when a canal or canals are to be taken out of it. Chashma barrage was built specifically to feed C-J link canal to irrigate 30 lakh acres in upper south Punjab. Taunsa barrage was built specifically to feed T-P link canal to irrigate 15 lakh acres in lower south Punjab . These barrages are providing the necessary replacement service, and were not built to feed flood-only canals. – - – - – -
    (continued)

  • - – - – - It is ridiculous to call them flood only canals, to be operated only when the whole of south Punjab is already under flood water. The agreement regarding prior permission of Sindh was only temporary and now the federal government of which ever political party is the deciding authority. This was explained by Zafar Mahmood, chairman Wapda in his recent articles just before he resigned. He also had this to say about the link canals which reinforces my views:
    “The C-J Link Canal was part of Indus Basin Replacement Works and was to be used along with T-P Link Canal to compensate for the losses in Eastern Rivers in as a result of Indus Water Treaty. These two link canals, connecting Indus River with Jhelum and Chenab Rivers were to augment supplies in southern Punjab through Chashma and Taunsa Barrages”.

    Footnote: Tarbela dam was built specifically for transfer of water and not for increasing supply to Sindh as is happening today: north Punjab 0%, south Punjab 20%, Sindh 70%

  • The dilemma of the Indus delta

    In 2015, 36 million acre feet of flood water flowed below Kotri to the delta to be lost to the sea. But this flow was only over 70 days between end June and early September, and the delta needs a regular, even though smaller, daily flow to maintain a positive flow between the river and the sea to check sea incursion.
    A foreign consultant’s study determined a 5 maf flood flow once a year, and a flow of 0.3 maf every month to be sufficient for year round protection of the delta. This makes a total of 0.3×12+5= 8.6 maf. The 5 maf flood flow is available most years, but 3.6 maf would have to be stored In a dam for the release of a monthly dose of 0.3 maf for the delta.
    However, the storages of both Mangla and Tarbela dam are over committed to the demands of irrigation, industry and town supplies. This is the dilemma of the Indus delta. We oppose KBD because we think it will damage the delta environment, but in actual fact we need KBD to save the delta.

  • Left bank canal at KBD

    The fear is that Punjab will be the main beneficiary of KBD because the dam is in Punjab . Is AJK the main beneficiary of Mangla dam because the dam is in AJK, Is K-P the main beneficiary of Tarbela dam because the dam is in K-P. This also negates the supervisory role of a powerful federal body IRSA in which Sindh has three votes*.

    In 2015, 36 million acre feet (maf) water flowed down to the sea, a part of this did help to rejuvenate the delta but a major part went waste to sea. The water going waste does not belong to any province but if the provinces agree to stop this waste they can agree to build a dam in which they will all have shares as per the Water Accord.

    A very suitable site for a large dam is at Kalabagh. All the provinces will get their shares through barrages, 2 in south Punjab, 3 in Sindh, except for north Punjab because of the elevations. North Punjab can get its share only through a left bank canal at KBD
    (continued)

  • (continued) – - – - – It is exactly the same water whether it is released into the Indus and recovered at Chashma barrage or if it goes directly into the left bank canal.

    The argument that a dam becomes a barrage if a canal is taken out of it makes no sense. It is this kind of nit picking which is holding up a project on which depends the survival of the country and we are busy scoring points.

    Without the left bank canal north Punjab will not get any water from any dam on the Indus, be it Kalabagh, Tarbela, Bhasha, Akhori or Skardu. Without water from the Indus two thirds of north Punjab will gradually revert from irrigated to barani, with a 50% loss in national food production.

    • The three votes of Sindh in IRSA:
    i) Sindh delegate, ii) Federal delegate also from Sindh, iii) Balochistan delegate who always votes along with the Sindh delegate because Sindh controls Balochistan’s supply from Sukkur barrage.

  • It is a rare feast to witness a healthy debate on vital national issues by educated and literate individuals. However I feel the debate is not being conducted on the same plain. It’s a debate of technical and verifiable scientific facts on the one hand against suspicions, prejudices and misgivings on the other.
    A dam is for the entire country from the upper to the lower riparians. The same way a water tank in double storey house serves both the ground floor and the 1st floor. If the ground floor residents get water directly from the water supply board’s weak pressure and oppose building the water tank fearing that the upper floor residents will consume all their share, will that be a happy household? To build or not to build Kalabagh Dam is not a technical debate, that’s a foregone conclusion. It’s now only a political debate and had to be handled as one. So the ground floor residents of the house want the upper floor to live without water or move out? I leave this question with you?

    • Dear Ijaz sb, I admire your candid views discussing nature of the issue. In mega water projects politics and riparian rights and trust (a political dimension again) are always critical. Even a technically marvelous water sector projects entail political questions of riparian rights. Pakistan objects on dams by India on the same grounds. The dams being constructed by India may also be technically sound but Pakistan has genuine issues as lower riparian. I appreciate that you did not summarily dismiss political issues associated with the KBD and suggested to address them. Some of our friends always dismiss even technical arguments by issuing edicts that the project is a victim of politics. One has to realistically see that when mega projects become controversial for any reasons, one critical ramification is disunity and disharmony among various segments of the society. Given the historical context, Pakistan needs more inter-provincial harmony through a constructive dialogue.

      • Janab Memon sb, the issue became politicized when Benazir Bhutto proclaimed that, “If Kalabagh dam is built Sindh will become a desert”, cheap politics for political advantage. Objection to Indian dams is because as the upper riparian it has control over the outflow from the dams. When river water distribution is centralized, which is the case in Pakistan since the land mark Water Apportionment Accord of 1991, and with the advent of the new federal body IRSA, then it is the central govt and not any provincial govt which controls the supplies, and there is no upper or lower riparian. The problem is that people are still living in the pre Water Accord era. How can inter provincial harmony come if north Punjab gets 0% and Sindh gets 70% of the water stored in Tarbela dam, when in fact the dam was the key part of the Indus Basin Replacement Works for transfer of water from the western rivers to the canals in north and south Punjab deprived of the waters of Ravi and Sutlej.

  • Comparison between Bhasha dam (B-D) and Kalabagh dam (K-D):

    - K-D is the best site for a dam in Pakistan and B-D is the most difficult site. K-D is ready to build and will take 5 to 6 years to come on stream compared to 15 years or more for B-D.

    - 310 miles of approach road to B-D for has to be widened and strengthened to take heavy machinery to the site before work can start.

    - B-D is outside the monsoon range and will depend entirely on snow melt from the glaciers which have a 30 year projected life.

    - K-D will utilize 30 maf of monsoon flows as well as the copious flows of the tributaries of the Indus, namely Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan. It will also moderate the annual floods from these river sized tributaries, which B-D can not.

    - The annual river flow at B-D is 50 maf and it is 90 maf at K-D. We argue that there is not enough water in the system to build a third mega dam but are opting for B-D with much less water than K-D.

    • (Continued) K-D will augment power generation at Tarbela by allowing higher reservoir levels there, B-D will not.
      • B-D, 140 miles of Karakorum highway will have to be relocated at a higher and more difficult terrain. (these two roads will cost more than the dam itself)
      • K-D will also be subject to seismic disturbances but not as much as BD which is in a highly active seismic zone.
      • B-D, will require many years of seismic investigations before work can start.
      • B-D, the power transmission lines will traverse 200 miles of this very difficult terrain, through an active seismic zone to get to the national grid at Tarbela.
      • The transmission line route will be prone to landslides. Any disturbance on the power lines in a most inaccessible region will cause disruption on the national grid for long periods.

  • An often heard complain is that Pakistani military establishment sold off rivers to India in return for dams and link canals that mostly favour the northern Punjabi heartland
    If Ayub Khan had not signed the Treaty in 1960, India would have been free to tamper with the flow of all six rivers at the expiry of the moratorium period of 10 years during which India was obliged to keep the rivers flowing By the time Pakistan could have taken its case to the various international forums to invoke lower-riparian rights, Pakistan’s agriculture would have suffered irretrievable loss
    As to the dams and link canals which mostly favour the northern Punjab heartland, the loss of the three eastern rivers would have mostly hit northern Punjab heartland, also south Punjab, but Sindh would have continued to get water from the Indus river uninterruptedly The dams, barrages and link canals were part and parcel of the ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’ for transferring water from the western – -
    (conti

  • Continued – - – rivers to the canals in north and south Punjab, deprived of the waters of Ravi and Sutlej rivers. Tarbela dam was to store surplus flood water and route it through Chashma and Taunsa barrages to CJ and TP link canals to feed the canals in upper and lower south Punjab. Indus Water Treaty could not have ceded Ravi and Sutlej rivers to India without making arrangement for replacement water. An area as big as central Punjab cannot be denied water because its elevation does not allow for gravity flow from a barrage, north Punjab can get replacement water only through a left bank canal at Kalabagh dam, without this canal north Punjab will not get any water from any dam on the Indus, be it Kalabagh, Tarbela, Bhasha, Akhori or Skardu, without water from the Indus two thirds of north Punjab will gradually revert from irrigated to barani. with a 50% loss in national food production. starving Punjab of water will starve the whole country. Do not cut the nose to spite the face.

  • The Senate hearing on the Indus Water Treaty is an example of what happens when assembly members are given to understand that they are the competent authority on matters like dams and rivers. They have already passed resolutions that Kalabagh dam will deplete the Indus and reduce supply to Sindh, just like Mangla and Tarbela dams had done.
    When in fact the two dams had increased withdrawal in Sindh canals from the pre-Mangla 35.6 maf to the post-Tarbela 44.5 maf, an increase of 8.9 maf with which Sindh was able to cultivate over 2 million additional acres. That was 40 years ago and there has been no increase in storage thanks to the assembly members. Now the Senators are pitting their competence to solving the Indus Water Treaty crisis.

    Senator Nisar Muhammad said a full-house committee should be constituted to formulate a long-term policy on water issues. Senator Sir, we still remember the long term policy when Kalabagh dam was rejected in favour of the IPPs – - – -
    (continued)

  • - – - Needless to say that all our energy and water problems today are because of that long term policy.
    The ministry was further directed to devise an alternative plan to cope with the situation if India revoked the Indus Waters Treaty. Senator Sir, we have spent forty years looking for an alternate to Kalabagh dam, maybe we should now stop looking for the alternate and go ahead with Kalabagh dam, and not wait for Bhasha dam which is way beyond even long term.

    The Senators directives to the ministry are certainly not that of a person who is fully conversant with the issue at hand, asking for an alternate for the largest irrigation network in the world is nothing less than a joke. I hope the Senators do not mess up things like the assembly members who have put us in a position where we have only 30 days of water in case India throttles our supplies.

  • Indus Water Treaty
    Now that the Indus Water Treaty is very much in the news, it is high time to sift facts from fiction. After years of negotiations, stalemate persisted, with India wanting full control of the three eastern rivers and Pakistan insisting on its due share in them. World Bank reasoned that sharing of rivers between India and Pakistan would result in endless disputes and litigation and suggested division of the rivers. The three eastern rivers with a combined annual flow of 33 maf to go to India, and the three western rivers with a much bigger combined annual flow of 135 maf to go to Pakistan. Replacement works like dams, barrages and link canals would help Pakistan to replace the water lost in the eastern rivers (this was probably the best solution going by the experience of sharing of the Indus between Punjab and Sindh).
    (continued)

  • Indus Water Treaty ii
    Why the military establishment sold three rivers in return for dams etc which favoured the northern Punjabi heartland. If Ayub Khan had not signed the Treaty in 1960, India having shut down the rivers twice before would have done so again, if not immediately, then after the expiry of the moratorium period of 10 years allowed to Pakistan for building the replacement works. This time it would not have been only the three eastern rivers but all the six rivers. By the time Pakistan would have gone to the various international bodies to press for its rights as a lower riparian, Pakistan’s agriculture would have suffered irretrievable damage.
    Now, why the replacement works only for Punjab. It was the northern Punjabi heartland (also south Punjab) which would have suffered the consequences of India shutting down the rivers and not Sindh which would have been supplied water uninterruptedly from the Indus.
    (continued)

  • Indus Water Treaty iii
    World Bank could not have proposed ceding the three eastern rivers to India without making arrangement for replacement water to the canals in north and south Punjab deprived of the waters of Ravi and Sutlej rivers.
    With India having stopped water supplies to the network of canals in Pakistan, it became imperative to build large storages and link canals to restore water to the affected canal system. Dams, barrages and link canals were then built as part of the ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’.
    Although the Indus had always been considered to be Sindh’s river but that was when five rivers flowed through Punjab, now with the loss of three rivers the whole country had to subsist on the remaining three rivers, of which only the Indus had surplus flow from some big tributaries flowing into it, namely Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan.
    Hence Tarbela dam was built on the Indus to store the surplus flood water which was then flowing down to the sea.
    (continued)

  • Indus Water Treaty iv
    Chashma barrage was built to divert water into Chashma-Jhelum link canal for irrigating 30 lakh acres in upper south Punjab, and Taunsa barrage was built to divert water into Taunsa-Panjnad link canal to irrigate 15 lakh acres in lower south Punjab. These are all part of the ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’ for providing replacement water to the canals in north and south Punjab,, and are not flood canals to be operated only when there is surplus water in the river. Any such agreement between Punjab and Sindh, under any political pressure, cannot circumvent the Treaty which is very clear on this point. World Bank could not have proposed ceding three eastern rivers to India without making provision for replacement water to the affected canal network. Replacement water to the canals in north Punjab, deprived of the waters of Ravi river, are to be fed through a left bank canal at Kalabagh dam, without the left bank canal north Punjab will not get – -
    (continued)

  • Indus Water Treaty v
    - – - any water from any dam on the Indus, be it Kalabagh, Tarbela, Bhasha, Akhori or Skardu dam. Only a small 1.0 maf capacity reservoir can be built on Chenab river, Jhelum is a small river and its reservoir will fill up only during heavy floods, without water from the Indus two thirds of north Punjab will gradually revert from irrigated to barani with a 50% reduction in national food production.
    Mainly because of ignorance about the Treaty, Sindh has many imaginary fears and believes that Punjab is stealing Sindh’s water from Tarbela dam, Chashma and Taunsa barrages and will steal Sindh’s water from Kalabagh dam which Sindh thinks is a barrage with many canals taken out from it.
    - The water stored in Tarbela dam was never Sindh’s water, it was the surplus flood water which was escaping to the sea at that time, and which Tarbela dam stored for replacement purposes.
    - The correct position of the barrages has already been explained.
    (contnued)

  • Indus Water Treaty vi
    - Only one canal, the left bank canal will be taken out of KBD, It is IRSA which controls releases from the dams and not Punjab, and Sindh has three votes in IRSA against one vote for Punjab (the Sindh delegate, the federal delegate also from Sindh, and the Balochistan delegate who always votes along with the Sindh delegate, because Sindh controls Balochistan’s supply from Sukkur barrage).
    - Engineers from the Sindh irrigation department are posted at major head works of Punjab and have not reported any theft of water.
    (theft does not take place at dams and barrages but at the canals, within each province, by the waderas and big zamindars)
    - Another objection is that a canal cannot be taken out directly from a dam. What if the high elevation of a large tract of land does not allow gravity flow from a barrage – which is the case at KBD
    Punjab is the bread basket of Pakistan, deprive it of water and you deprive the country of food.

    (concluded with thanks)

  • In its original design, height of Bhasha dam was 640 feet with a storage capacity of 5.0 maf, to give it superiority over Kalabagh dam, for political reasons, the design was modified, height was raised to 900 feet to achieve a storage capacity of 7.0 maf.
    To keep the much bigger dam competitive, the period of construction and the cost of construction were kept down by changing the mode of construction from the conventional Reinforced Concrete to Roll Crete, and by using inferior lime stone available at site.
    No dam higher than 640 feet has so far been built using Roll Crete method of construction. Many experts believe that a dam of this height in an active seismic zone and in sub zero temperatures will be a disaster waiting to happen.
    The then chairman Wapda, Gen. Safdar Butt, had written a four page letter to Gen. Musharaf warning him of the very serious consequences of a dam burst.
    Now that Bhasha dam is being built before Kalabagh dam, it should be built to its original design.

  • Kalabagh dam is a victim of politics and ignorance, in equal measure.

    Politics – 10 out of 10 followers of Benazir Bhutto, not only in Sindh but also in Punjab, oppose Kalabagh dam because she had said that Sindh will become a desert if Kalabagh dam is built, and her word is law for them.

    Ignorance – 9 out of 10 people, literate and illiterate, including the assembly members, believe that Mangla and Tarbela dams have depleted the Indus and decreased water supply to Sindh. However, the record in the Sindh irrigation dept.will show that the two dams increased supply to the canals in Sindh by 8.9 maf (35.6 before Mangla to 44.5 after Tarbela), and Sindh was able to cultivate an additional 2 million acres.

    The Indus still looks depleted because the 14 big canals on the three barrages in Sindh are consuming all the water to meet the increased demand for irrigation water to feed a population grown from 8 crore to nearly 20 crore over the 40 years since Tarbela dam was commissioned.

  • The ex-chairman Wapda in his many articles in the Nation, revealed that it was not Punjab Governor Gen Jilani but PM Junejo who had ordered the reopening of CJ link canal in 1985

    The year 1985 had a particular dry summer. The situation turned acute in the Southern Punjab divisions of Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan and the sowing of Kharif crops was severely affected

    The Federal Government took charge of the issue and on the directions of the then Prime Minister, Muhammad Khan Junejo, the CJ Link Canal was opened on the late evening of June 8, 1985 for a very limited water discharge, by passing the agreement between Punjab and Sindh.

    Ministry of Water & Power was given directions not to publicize the PM’s orders in view of the sensitivity of the situation

    Chief Minister Sindh Syed Ghous Ali Shah confirmed to the Sindh Assembly that he was told that morning that the canal was reopened on the orders of Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo
    (continued)

  • The Prime Minister was reportedly a disciple of the then Pir of Pagaro. He wanted to deflect the possible criticism of the Prime Minister’s decision and against all facts accused the Governor of Punjab of unilaterally ordering CJ canal opening. This statement got wide publicity in Sindh and was accepted by those who wanted to believe this version of events
    .
    This is only one of the many falsehoods attached to Kalabagh dam. Once the top leadership had condemned the project, the more loyal than the Queen brigade have been busy finding faults with it, of course their total ignorance of the subject has contributed to the falsehoods:

    -. Dams deplete rivers and reduce water supply ……….. …………… . false
    – Mangla and Tarbela dam have depleted the Indus………………… false
    - Mangla & Tarbela dams have reduced water supply to Sindh…….false
    - Tarbela dam is not part of ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’……,.false
    - Tarbela dam was built to increase supply to Sindh ……………………false
    (contiinued)

  • Continuing with the falsehoods which totally deny the very essence of the Indus Water Treaty
    which gave away the eastern rivers toi India and gave Pakistan ‘Replacement Works’ to transfer
    - CJ and TP link canals are not part of ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’ ………….……….false
    - Not built to supply replacement water to canals in south Punjab……………………………..false
    - WB took away Sutlej river without arranging for replacement water …………………..… false
    - Flood only canals, to be operated when south Punjab is already flooded. …………….… false
    - They have nothing to do with the Indus Water Treaty ……………………………………………false
    - Chashma barrage could have been built without building CJ link canal ………………….…false.
    - Taunsa barrage could have built without building TP link canal ……………………………….lalse
    (why were the barrages built if no replacement water was to go fo south Punjab)

  • Some more falsehoods
    –. Kalabagh dam will deplete the Indus & reduce supply to Sindh ……………………… false
    - KBD will aggravate the environmental degradation of the delta …………….………..false.
    - KBD will add to the misery of the delta people …………………………………….…………false
    - Kalabagh dam will benefit only Punjab …………………………………………..……………..false
    - Punjab will take too much water because the dam is in Punjab …………..………..…false.
    - Punjab will take 6.1 maf from the dam and 6.1 maf from the tunnel ………………..false
    - – Assembly members are the competent authority on dams ……….………… false

    Opponents of Kalabagh dam need to see how they are ruining a vital project.

  • The World Bank did not think it was encroaching on Sindh’s Indus by proposing a dam on the Indus, the only river having surplus flows from the many tributaries flowing into it. Tarbela dam as a part of the ‘Indus Basin Replacement Works’ was the key to the ‘Replacement Plan’ of World BanK.
    The dam would store surplus flood water, available for 70 days from end June to early September, there being no demand for this water because of the wet weather, it was flowing down to the sea, even the delta did not need so much water over such a short period, it needs a smaller but regular amount spread over the whole year.
    Water was thus available tor make up the loss incurred by the canals in north & south Punjab. No canal in Sindh had lost any water which needed replacement. Chashma and Taunsa were the ‘Replacement Works’ for diverting the surplus flood water from Tarbela dam to the CJ and TP link canals, on to/the the canals in upper and lower south Punjab for irrigating 45 lakh acres.
    (contin

  • A left bank canal at Kalabagh dam was to replenish the canals in north Punjab, deprived of the waters of the Ravi. World Bank could not have proposed ceding Ravi and Sutlej rivers to India without having a ‘Replacement Plan’ and the required ‘Replacement Works’ in place.
    Sindh, most unreasonably, treats the water stored in Tarbela dam as Sindh’s water, because it claims Indus to be Sindh’s river. By that reasoning Sindh accuses Punjab of stealing Sindh’s water through CJ and TP link canals,It also says that Punjab will steal Sindh’s water from the left bank canal at Kalabagh dam.
    Without the left bank canal at Kalabagh dam, north Punjab cannot draw on the water stored at Tarbela dam, and by default Sindh is getting 70% of the stored water. This could never have been the intention of the Treaty.
    Without this canal north Punjab will also not get water from any future dam on the Indus, The bread basket of the country will have to subsist on the two smaller rivers, Jhelum and Chenab.
    (con

  • - – - without water from the Indus two thirds of north Punjab will gradually revert from irrigated to rain-fed, with a 50% loss in food production.
    Sindh’s argument that since it was not made a party to the formulation of the Treaty it does not have to abide by it, while this argument has merit it does not help the water and power situation in the country, by stopping all dam building activity for 40 years, plus 15 years if we wait for Bhasha dam, the people of Sindh are suffering as much as the people of Punjab.
    (concuded)

  • The government of Pakistan had to face a water crisis very soon after its inception, after a very long struggle the crisis ended with the offer of Indus Water Treaty. Ayub Khan had to face severe criticism for accepting the Treaty and later for implementing it by building dams and other infrastructure. This is how Tarbela dam was built after billion of dollars of investment, billions which had to paid back by the nation. Obviously the dam belonged to the nation and it was the whole nation which was to benefit from the water and power that it would produce, But Sindh and K-P do not agree. K-P says that since the dam is built on my land I have first right to the power generated and the federal body Wapda is selling my power to the people of Pakistan illegally. Sindh says since the dam is built on my river therefore the water stored in it belongs to me and the federal body IRSA is allowing Punjab to steal my water through CJ and TP link canals. – - – - –
    (continued)

  • - – - – This reminds me of a Maxim cartoon which shows the map of Pakistan with all the provinces separated from each other. The title of the cartoon is the ‘18th Amendment’.

  • It is quite clear that even literates don’t understand the working of dams and barrages, the illiterate of course think that dams block river flow, the situation has been made worse by the political leaders who have played politics with the issue of Kalabagh dam for petty political gains, also because of their own abysmal ignorance, and in the process have turned hordes of their followers against the dam, the ignorant nationalists of Sindh are prepared even to kill for it. The pity is that even the educated people of Sindh have failed to understand the gravity of the situation and have gone along with the uneducated public sentiment.
    Bhasha dam is not a substitute for Kalabagh dam, by the time it is built, Mangla and Tarbela dams would have lost considerable storage and generation capacity, Bhasha dam will irrigate only the acres that the two dams will have stopped irrigating, it will light only the bulbs which the two dam will have stopped lighting, – - – -
    (continued)
    .

  • - – - – we will be in the same position that we were 40 years ago when Tarbela dam was commissioned, while the population which has increased from 8 crore to 20 crore over this period will have increased even more, much more.
    The question is, who can save Pakistan from drying up, not the politicians who have their vote bank to protect, and whose pitch has also been queered by the assembly members in their innate wisdom. That leaves us with the intelligentsia and the media, It is only these two who can join hands to take on the onerous responsibility of imparting the necessary information to the masses, tell them of the immense benefits in cash and kind that will accrue to them by building a dam, and also tell them of the serious dangers of not increasing our storage capacity.
    In the end what will hurt more is not the mindless opposition of the opponents of the dam but the pin drop silence of those who want the dam to be built but will not speak up for it.

  • According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index released Tuesday, Pakistan has been ranked as a country with “serious” hunger level with 22 per cent of its population undernourished. Pakistan performed worse than most of its South Asian neighbours in eliminating hunger. It has been placed 107 in a ranking of 118 developing countries.
    No prizes given for guessing why this is so. The last increase in supplies was made 40 years ago when Tarbela dam was commissioned. No increase has been possible after that because Benazir Bhutto had told her people that Sindh will become a desert if Kalabagh dam is built.
    The ignoramus did not know that Mangla and Tarbela dams had increased supply to Sindh and not decreased it. She exploited the curse of provincialism, which she knew prevailed, for political gains. The result is that the ignorant nationalists of Sindh are ready to kill for it, little do they know that they are digging their own graves.

  • - – - – Even the present leadership of PPP dare not even take the name of Kalabagh dam.
    The educated people in Sindh and even in Punjab, and of course the media, bear a heavy responsibility for allowing matters to reach this stage where Pakistan is likely to top the list in less than a few decades, because nothing is being done to halt the slide. We all are like a horde of Ostriches with our heads buried in sand hoping that the crisis will pass.

  • When the Indus Water Treaty was signed on Sep 1960, also signed were the Indus Basin Development Fund Agreement by representatives of Pakistan, the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the World Bank, and a loan agreement between Pakistan and the World Bank. Enormous sums of money were spent and expensive irrigation works construction was undertaken.
    These irrigation works were part of the Indus ‘Basin Replacement Works’ under which Tarbela dam, Chashma & Taunsa barrage and CJ & TP link canals were also built.
    The very purpose of these works was to transfer the water stored in Tarbela dam to the canals in north and south Punjab which were to be deprived of the waters of Ravi and Sutlej rivers.
    Can any sane person say that ‘enormous sums of money’ were spent so that Sindh could claim that the water stored in Tarbela dam belonged to Sindh, that there was no need for a left bank canal at Kalabagh dam to transfer water to the canals in north Punjab and the – - -
    (contd

  • - – - – - – CJ and TP link canals were flood-only canals and were not meant to transfer water to the canals in south Punjab.
    Experts talk about the need for inter provincial harmony to save the federation, can there be inter provincial harmony when Punjab has been deprived of the waters of Ravi and Sutlej but the replacement water, an essential element of the Treaty, is being usurped by Sindh,
    which is getting 70% of the water stored in Tarbela dam, north Punjab is getting 0%, and the 20%
    to south Punjab is also being grudged. If CJ and TP link can are shut down Sindh will start getting 90% of the water not only from Tarbela dam but also from all dams on the Indus, be it Kalabagh, Tarbela, Bhasha, Akhori or Skardu dam
    Punjjab being the bread basket of the country, the situation is so serious that nothing short of intervention by the media can create awareness among the public.

  • Not many people in Karachi know that they are getting their drinking water from Mangla and Tarbela dams. They think they are getting it from Keenjhar lake, but the lake gets its water from Kotri barrage which is the last stop on the Indus river. While there is ample water in the Indus from the last week of June to the first week of September,
    there is very little water in the Indus in the remaining days of the year, and it is the water stored in Mangla and Tarbela dams which meets our ever increasing demand for irrigation and town supplies.
    Keenjhar lake is presently supplying 550 million gallons per day to Karachi which is about 50% of the requirement. hence the daily protests by the poor people.
    Now under the K-IV project another 260 mgd will be supplied in the first and second phase each, and 130 mgd in the final phase.
    All this water has to come from the two dams, a day will come when they will not be able to meet the demand, and we will wish we had built Kalabagh dam.

  • The following news coming from India is very alarming:
    New Delhi – Amidst growing tension between India and Pakistan post the Uri terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to call a meeting to review the 56-year-old Indus Water treaty, Indian media reported on Sunday.
    Modi’s meeting to be held today (Monday) will focus on the various aspects of the water-sharing agreement which has always been considered detrimental to India’s interests and largely lopsided in Pakistan’s favour.
    —————————————————–
    Even if no changes are made in the Treaty, India can still damage us in two ways:
    i). By simultaneous filling up of its many dams to reduce the flow in our rivers at a critical time.
    We have only 30 days of reserve storage when our dams are full, which they are not all the time, any reduction in flow will force us to cut down on consumption across the board with dire consequences. – - – - – - –
    (continued)

  • ii). By releasing too much water to cause flooding.
    The storage capacity of our dams is not sufficient to combat heavy flooding.
    It will be downright criminal to ignore the threat and not take immediate steps to increase our storage capacity.

  • With our poor knowledge of technical matters most people think that dams block the flow of the river and create shortages for the lower riparians, this is obvious from the very brief sample of the comments to Naseer Memon’s ‘Untold Facts’. These views got reinforced by the unfortunate statements of some political leaders who chose to play politics with the issue of Kalabagh dam:
    Visit kotri barrage area to witness the miseries of people.
    Below Kotri barrage even the river bed is not covered.
    This is an issue of survival for life in coastal belt.
    The delta life is almost at the verge of its end.
    The dam is associated with lives of lower riparian.
    The three smaller provinces will never accept it
    Three assemblies have rejected it.
    ————————–
    They don’t understand that a dam only stores the surplus flood water, and makes this water available
    when there is very little water in the rivers. If this water is not stored it would flow down to the sea. – - – - –
    (continued)

  • For instance, Mangla and Tarbela dams increased canal supplies by about 20 million acre feet (from 83 to 104), of which 8.9 maf was for Sindh. How can this have created shortages for Sindh or at the delta?
    The shortage occurs when the demand for irrigation water increases so much that the canals at the barrages take up all the water in the river and leave little or no water for the delta.
    Demand has increased because population has increased from 8 crore to nearly 20 crore over the 40 years since Tarbela dam was commissioned, but the supply remains at 104 maf.
    Population is not going to stop increasing, but we are not increasing the supply because of our ignorance about dams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

 characters available

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Scroll To Top