Kalabagh Dam may be launched after reaching consensus

ISLAMABAD: ICMD, Aug 6, 2018

Caretaker Minister for Water Resources Syed Ali Zafar on Monday said consensus needed to be developed on Kalabagh Dam at the national level and the project should be launched.

“The caretaker government had prepared ten guidelines for the next government to address the water scarcity issue in the country,” he said while addressing a news conference in Islamabad.

He said besides about 400 small dams, construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams should be started at the earliest.

The minister said the other proposals included an increase in water budget up to 20 percent of the development budget, the lining of canals, modern irrigation system, regulation of tube wells, standardized equipment to gauge water for reducing confusion among provinces over the division of water, water treatment plants and system for preservation of rainwater.

He said Pakistan should have constructed so far six to seven big dams to meet its water needs.

Syed Ali Zafar said India had built Kishanganga project in sheer violation of the Indus Water Treaty signed with Pakistan in 1960. He said now India was planning to construct Ratle Dam in violation of the IWT and Islamabad should convince the World Bank, which is a guarantor of the treaty, to form a court of arbitration to decide this case.

To a question, he said it was not possible for India or Pakistan to reverse the IWT.