Awami National Party supremo Mr Asfandyar Wali has suggested on television that instead of Kalabagh Dam 200 mini dams may be built ostensibly in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. Mini dams can only be built on small streams and rivulets and not on big rivers like Indus. The experience of mini dams elsewhere in Pakistan has not been very successful as these are based on incomplete studies and are open to corruption, being locally based, to serve only limited needs and it is beyond comprehension how to coordinate power generation and transmission over long distances from hilly areas to the plains where major consumers exist.

During a recent discussion on a local TV channel the Sindh representative was very vocal that there is no surplus water in river Indus and the remark of Southern Punjab representative that if there was no water in Indus than no dam could be built, including Bhasha Dam, the anchorperson stated that work on Bhasha Dam construction had already started. Actually only ground breaking has been done on the site in 2006 and again some years later, but we are still waiting for the $ 200 million to be donated by USA, for preliminary studies before a complete feasibility is carried out which is a time consuming process. So let us not place any hopes on Bhasha Dam’s completion in our life time.

DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, December 12.