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Dec 8, 2012

Why Kalabagh Dam is termed as a ‘Life & Death' for Sind province (Pakistan)

Misrepresentation & political polarization has marred the Kalabagh Dam construction in Pakistan.
Particularly the Sind Nationalist taking it with more seriousness and terming “Kalabagh Dam building” is a matter of life and death for Sind province.

Today in Sind assembly during Kalabagh Dam’s debate session, MPAs criticized openly and there were heavy uproars in the assembly over the verdict of Lahore High court which asked the Federal govt. to initiate the project that had gone suspended for different reasons though it had approval (in place) since 1991which later renewed even in 1998 to move further but no implementation at all.
It refers recent directives from Lahore High Court’s to the federal government to implement decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and build the much-politicized” Kalabagh Dam” has activated the institutional framework to take the issue to a logical conclusion. The verdict further stated that the name of Kalabagh dam has been a matter of tussle between provinces so it can be renamed if needed.

In the past though it bubbled for some time but again went dumped without any substantial reasons by then govt. said in the court verdict. Though the action at Federal level should have been initiated in response to Lahore high court orders but Sind Assembly however has started debate to prepare a final resolution and submission thereof.    
The Sind, MPAs giving justification that Kalabagh Dam will impoverish and deprive of the basic rights of Sindhies & Sindh will lose its liberty rather our people will suffer with unnecessary imposition & the manipulation being attempted by other Provinces on us (Sind) is a clear victimization specifically to Sindhis. And we will not allow anyone to usurp and encroach upon our freedom said by Deputy Speaker of Sind assembly.   

Since Sind assembly debate on ‘Kalabagh dam’ construction is continued and as mentioned by the Speaker that if needed he will keep the session continue for more than week to arrive at conclusion.   
However, on receipt of ‘observation’ from Sind assembly the Federal Govt. should make the report public for understanding of everyone living in the country. The project has been in-try, out-tray since 1991. Its more than 2 decades, though erupts for some time but goes extinguishes. And we have given our mandate that Kalabagh dam is a dead horse so why Lahore high court raising this again & again said by one of the MPA.

There is acute apprehension among the inhabitants of Sind province that other provinces of the country are trying to ruin them economically. A normal Sindhi feels that Punjab, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa are predator and they are going to prey them.
We also have noticed that whenever Kalabagh dam project is raised, a very massive hue and cry & slogan against the govt. and authorities in other provinces of the country are blamed to trigger & fuel. Local and national media started conducting regular debate and due to heavy protests across Sind region the project eventually goes to withdraw said by one of the govt. official wishes to anonymous.

The people of Sind region believes that other provinces have hostility and antagonism with Sindhies, constructing dam will push them to the brink of starvation, their paddy fields will go dry, industry will close, less water will be available, unemployment will prevail and as such Sind will be compelled to rely on the support of other provinces and that’s why Kalabagh Dam has been shown as a ‘Venomous dragon’ who will eat Sind if it is built said by school teacher in interior Sind.
The ‘Kalabagh Dam” has been a matter of prestige among Nationalist because of miss feeding, miss-representation and showing Sind a vulnerable state and there is mindset that if dam is built the other province will take benefits on the cost of Sind etc. he further added.  

Nonetheless we cannot rule out the suspicious role of our politicians who have been visiting Sind constituencies during their electoral process, painted a very harsh, gloomy and depressing picture about Kalabagh dam. Instead to convince and assure the people with positive outcome they vandalized and sabotaged for their political interest just to maintain the vote bank said by the NGOs.
Hence the resolution from Sind assembly to be received to Federal govt. it has therefore been imperative for the govt. to constitute a bench comprising with the team at Federal level, Opposition leaders, Coalition partners, Leader from 4 provinces & Sind Nationalist party along with a Team of Technical & Administrative expertise, Town planners, Team of Engineers (civil, electrical, mechanical) along with a team of Supreme court judges to have in depth discussion, pros and cons, merit and demerit & environmental impacts at the provincial level evaluating technical and administrative parameters too.

The country needs a conspicuous & illustrative detail for general awareness of its citizen the reason for keeping the project defer since more than 2 decades on multiple reasons, a hidden agenda from the govt. where the masses have tired and they need a relief to counter the ruthless havoc of heavy monsoon floods which devours them and their properties every year which is the main manifesto and the reason to build “kalabagh dam”.
It should be our combined collective efforts to assure and convince our friends living in Sind region that there are no differences among provinces and we all are brothers and living under one umbrella called ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’.

As we are aware that every year due to monsoon torrential rain and thunder storm more than 200,000-300,000 people go homeless & from 2000 to 10,000 lives are lost in monsoon flood water, the ruthless flood create havoc in the country where thousands of cattle, millions of crops and hundreds of acre farming lands are inundated and perished so brother at other province extends hand to save the vulnerable brother, this is our obligatory and constitutional duty to live with harmony instead do politics on ‘Dam construction’ said by one Economist on private TV channel
The dams and reservoirs are meant to harness the river waters for accelerating socio-economic growth and mitigating the miseries of a large population suffering from the vagaries of floods and droughts.

Dams and reservoirs contribute significantly in fulfilling the following basic human needs: -
*       WATER FOR DRINKING AND INDUSTRIAL USE
*       IRRIGATION
*       FLOOD CONTROL
*       HYDRO POWER GENERATION
*       INLAND NAVIGATION
*       RECREATION

The media needs to play a positive role instead to do debate, lengthy discussion goes futile, attract people with different mode of teaching and education that why we build the dam – if dam is built how we can save people who lost their lives and property every year due to heavy monsoon rains across the country. If dam is built it will not support to only one province but will be beneficial for the country as whole where 200 million of people of Pakistan will enjoy with dam building.

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