Benefits from mega dams do not accrue only after they are commissioned, but also during their construction. For a thermal power plant, the local component of the total cost is only 20 percent against the foreign component of 80 percent. But for a hydel project the percentage is exactly the reverse. Just imagine the amount of economic activity that can be generated on a continuous basis for the next five or six years if the construction of Kalabagh Dam is started now. On the other hand, the construction of Bhasha Dam cannot be started until the machinery reaches the site. That only after the 300 kilometre road has been widened and strengthened to take the load of the very heavy construction machinery. But the question is: How long will that take? Your guess is as good as mine These facts are already known to the powers that be, but the PPP government is not pushed into performing, since it is assured of the votes of its deaf, dumb and blind voters. ENGR KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, October 30.