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Old Sunday, October 16, 2005
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Muhammad T S Awan Muhammad T S Awan is offline
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I pray for wellbeing of all of you and needs the same as well

Well I have tried a bit to place my notes in the discussion on one of the most controversial issues in Pakistan.

Dear Adil, this version is a bit better than the previous one, good job, keep it up

I will like to move step by step/point by point :

(para 8 (A) means the para 8 of article by Adil Memon, whereas para 8 above means para 8 of below mentioned text, para 1 being counted as first para below the line)

1. Para 8(A) : Kalabagh is a place in Punjab. On average (1975-2000) the annual inflow of Indus River and its western tributaries is 144.91 MAF (Indus, Kabul, Gomal, Soan etc.), whereas the inflow of Eastern Rivers (Jehlum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, etc.) is 9.136 MAF. The outflow to sea, on average (1975-2000) is 39.5 MAF (37.01 in Kharif and 2.49 in Rabi) and water diverted to canals is 104.73 MAF (67.11 in Kharif and 37.63 in Rabi).

2. As per Water Apportionment Accord of 1991, the following share has been allocated to the provinces :

Province Kharif Rabi Total
Punjab 37.07 18.87 55.94
Sindh 33.94 14.82 48.76
NWFP 5.28 3.5 8.78
Balochistan: 2.85 1.02 3.87

Total 77.34 37.01 114.35

3. On average about 39.0 MAF is being wasted to the sea and as per claim of Sindh (during Accord of 1991) the optimum level required to check sea intrusion is 10 MAF, it means about 29 MAF can be utilized by the country.

4. Average annual energy generation would be 11400 GWH with 12 installed generators of 300 MWH each.

5 Concerns of NWFP (para 9(A) refers)

i). Flooding/Inundation of fertile lands
ii) Water logging and salinity
iii) Large number of people would be displaced

6. Answers

i) This apprehension got footing because of record flood of 1929, however, the conservation level of dam is 915 feet above mean sea level (MSL) and real causes of flooding at Nowshera and Peshawar Valley is entrance of Kabul river into confined channel at the end of valley; as Indus flows through a wide valley of over 8000 feet and is then forced to pass through 1000 feet gorge for 5 miles, this forces the river water to back up thus raising flood levels in Kabul river upto Nowshera. This is not likely to occur in case of Kalabagh because :

a) the back water effect of Kalabagh lake would end about 8-10 miles (appx. 16 km) downstream of confluence of Kabul and Indus rivers

b) the Tarbela dam has stopped the free flow of Indus river and condition like of 1929 cannot occur

c) after launching of Ghazi Brotha project the water in actual Indus from point Ghazi to confluence with the Kabul river is negligible and in that area on certain places the flow of water in Indus river is 2-3 feet.

ii). The lowest ground levels at Swabi, Mardan, and Pabbi are 1000, 970, and 962 feet respectively, as compared to the maximum conservation level of dam i.e. 915, this maximum reservoir level would be maintained only for 3 to 4 weeks during September and October after which it would deplete as water would be released for electricity generation and for Rabi crops. Ultimately it would go down to dead storage level of 825 feet by early June. This operation pattern of reservoir could not block the drainage in the Peshawar valley thus water-logging or salinity cannot be caused. Further, the drains of Mardan SCARP (Salinity control and reclamation project) are higher than 915 feet of maximum reservoir level so they can operate easily.

iii). Based on a 1999 estimate, the total population to be relocated because of the project is 120,000. Of this, 78,000 persons will have to be relocated from the Punjab and 42,500 from NWFP. The project includes compensation for all affected people for their properties which include land, trees, buildings and other structures at market price in compliance with the Land Acquisition Act. 27 new model villages and 20 village extensions have been proposed.

7. Another major incentive provided for the affectees in the case of this dam, not previously offered for such a project in Pakistan, would be to fully compensate the farmers for the land on the reservoir periphery, above normal conservation level of 915 feet that could be flooded once in five years. This land would remain the property of the original owners for cultivation, with the undertaking that they would not claim any damages to crops for occasional flooding.

8. According to the plan, non-agriculturist people would be trained in various trades in the Training Institutes to be established in the Model Villages. These measures will provide them maximum job opportunities.

9. The area to be affected by the reservoir is about 134,500 acres. This includes 74% un-cultivable land in both the provinces. Of this, 95,800 acres falls in the Punjab and remaining 38,700 acres in the NWFP.

10. Concerns of Balochistan (para 9(A) refers): The primary concern of Balochistan is regarding share of water and Pat Feeder Canal originated from Gaddu Barage after construction of the dam, however, according to Water Accord of 1991 the water share of any province cannot be curtailed and new canal projects of any province would be entertained from overall share of the respective province. Since flow of Pat Feeder canal is related to water level in the Barage, therefore, its remodeling has been devised, so in fact the remodeling of Pat Feeder will increase its efficiency.

11. Concerns of Sindh (para 9 (A) refers) :
i) The project would convert Sindh into a desert.
ii) There is no surplus water to fill Kalabagh reservoir.
iii) Cultivation in riverain (Sailaba) areas would be affected.
iv). Sea water intrusion in Indus
v) Mangrove forest, which are already threatened, would be further affected adversely.
vi) Fish production and drinking water supply below Kotri would be adversely affected.

12. Answers

i). Dams donít consume any water. Instead these store water during flood season, which can be utilized during remaining dry periods. Before Tarbela the annual canal withdrawal of Sindh were 35.6. MAF, however, after Tarbala Dam figure rose to 44.5 MAF, and major benefit being got in Rabi season.

ii). As stated at para -2 above, about 39 MAF is being wasted in the sea and as opined by Sindh during 1991 Accord that approx. 10 MAF is required to stop sea intrusion, so remaining water is 29 MAF. Further, I had seen in an article by some Sindhi person, that according to IUCN the water level required to evade sea intrusion is 27 MAF, if consider this ration than we also have 12 MAF water to feed the Kalabagh dam.

iii). The Salaiba are the areas around the river bed and are fed by moisture in the soil during flood season. However, many farmers are already using water pumps/tube wells for cultivating these areas. The extra water in shape of small flooding will be there, which can easily feed the Sailaba areas.

iv). As at para- 12 ii)/above, however, the existing aquifer system below Hyderabad is already saline, so no worry

v). Mangrove forests cover an important area in the Indus Delta spreading from Karachi in the west to Rann of Kutch in the east and majority of its consist of a salt tolerant variety. The reduction in mangroves is due to many reasons like frequency of tidal inundation and uncontrolled overgrazing and cutting due to extreme population pressure of Karachi. For reviving the mangrove forests, persistent effort is required for replanting salt tolerant varieties in the area.

vi). The statistical data shows that the production of fish has been constantly increasing, as such no problem. Further, fresh water supply in winter will assure good quality of water in the rivers and more fish.

13. The Kalabagh Dam project has converted into a favourite punching bag of many politicians who use this as their weapon against maligning the government. The Benazir was initially against the project but after assuming power, she favoured the cause. The same is the case with ANP etc. they favoured the project when in power in alliance with PML (N) and now they are again opposing the project.

14. The Government has proposed many mega projects in all the provinces like Right Bank Canal for Gomal region, Rainee and Kachi Canal for Sindh and Balochistan and the Greater Thal Canal in Punjab, which is not a new project in a sense that it was also on board during Water Accord of 1991. Certainly surplus water would be required to feed these channels.

15. However, there are indeed some points in minds of provinces which need to be cleared with them prior to finalizing any thing and technicalities of the project should deliberated upon instead of clamoring.

16. We need water for our future uses i.e. domestic/industrial requirements. For saving water the channels already in operation should be lined so that minimum loss occur due to percolation/seepage, on this the government has taken up in the matter but major is required to be done.

Perhaps above appraisal would be helpful to some extent.
'Thee woh ik shakhs kay tasawar saay - abb woh ranayee khayal kahaan'
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