Indus dam causes anxiety

The Pakistan government continues to face a barrage of criticism over the US $8-billion Kalabagh dam project, proposed to be located on Indus river in Sindh province. In November, Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Z chief Zain Shah urged all political parties of Sindh to form an alliance and launch a struggle against the controversial venture

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

the Pakistan government continues to face a barrage of criticism over the us $8-billion Kalabagh dam project, proposed to be located on Indus river in Sindh province. In November, Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Z chief Zain Shah urged all political parties of Sindh to form an alliance and launch a struggle against the controversial venture.

Shah, while addressing party workers, dubbed it as an anti-Sindh project. He expressed apprehension that the province would turn into a barren landscape due to the structure. Its construction, as well as that of the Thal canal, will lead to an acute water shortage in farmlands and cities like Karachi, Shah is reported as having said. Earlier, Mumtaz Bhutto, who heads the Sindh National Front, had also criticised the move to execute the two projects. She appealed to the government to abandon work on the structures in the larger interest of the people of the province.

It is noteworthy that over the past several years, the residents of Sindh have been protesting against the construction of the canal and dam. In fact, the latter venture came to a standstill when three assemblies passed a unanimous resolution against it.

The dam site lies about 148 kilometres (km) downstream of the confluence of Kabul and Indus rivers, and approximately 26 km upstream of the Jinnah barrage. The stretch covers a narrow and deep channel that extends over 8 km and where the river is about 396 metres wide. As per official reports, the project was initiated by the Pakistan government in 1953. Till 1973, it was considered a storage structure for meeting irrigation needs. Later, with rapidly increasing energy costs, the status of the dam was enhanced to a power-generating project.

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