Referendum on Kalabagh Dam needed, says Shams

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THE NATION, LAHORE, 27th SEPTEMBER 2013:- Wapda former Chairman Engineer Shamsul Mulk has stressed the need for a referendum in KPK on Kalabagh Dam, stating that only five per cent population of the province is against the construction of the dam vital for the economy of the country.
Addressing ‘Meet the Press” sitting at Lahore Press Club on Thursday, Khyber PK former caretaker Chief Minister regretted those political leaders who were stating that building KBD would weaken the Federation were actually lying to the people without knowing any fact.
“The KBD is more vital for the KPK than the other provinces and will unite the Federation,” he stressed, adding, that if the KBD was not constructed, KPK would be adversely affected, as it would not receive a sufficient supply of water from other dams and neither would it benefit from other water projects that Pakistan may work on in the future.
“There were 16,600,785 registered votes in KPK in 2008 and ANP got 578,405 votes in elections which were only 5.6 per cent of the total votes,” he said, questioning how the Awami National Party could call itself the representative of the people of the province with such least support of masses.  Shamsul Mulk regretted that those so-called leaders were opposing the KBD who even never in their lives saw a dam.
He requested the media to create awareness among the people about the benefits of the dam, stating any government whether it is present or future one would never work in the country’s interest but they were the people who have to come forward.
“We are generating electricity at cost of Rs16.50 per unit and in the presence of KBD it will cost us at Rs1.54 per unit,” he asserted, questioning could anyone from the so-called leaders explain that such cheap cost electricity would weaken or unite the Federation.  He said that Sindh received 7 MAF (Million Acre Feet) extra water after the construction of Tarbela and Mangla dams and the province would receive 4 MAF more water after the construction of KBD.
To a question, he replied that 750 small dams were required as alternative of KBD and it was not an easy task for a country which could only build 68 dams in past 65 years.
He said more than 90 per cent among the 68 dams were not generating a single unit of electricity.
To another question, Shams replied that the present government would not go for the construction of the KBD but they were people who should carry out the task.
“If we want to secure the food, fresh water and energy needs of the country on comfortable basis we have no alternative of KBD,” he stated.
Earlier, Shamsul Mulk also addressed a ceremony in his honour at FPCCI where he delivered a lecture on the importance of dams and especially of KBD in the country.

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