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Old Monday, October 24, 2005
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Salaam,

My Essay was kept free of technical stuff since most people here were not capable of understanding it, specially, the women, as a noteworthy example, Miss Saba.

Saba, you will get my answer after you read all this. I did not favour Sindh. I stated whatís true and feasible! I am known to the world as a Pakistani, not as a Sindhi.

Tabassum, it was really a bolt from the blue. I repent writing that word "Technical" in my previous post. However since Iíve hit an axe on my own feet, I will fight till the bitter end to defend myself. Let me continue! The points will be entertained sequently. (I appreciate your efforts)

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).

<< Thank you so much dear. I figured out later that I placed Kalabagh at the wrong province in my essay. I wrote 'in' where I was supposed to write 'near'.

>> Agreed! However the share in Water Accords is 117MAF.

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

>> Ok... now this is much clear. You see, you missed something here. In your first paragraph you stated that 104.73 MAF is being diverted to use all over the country while the needs/rights are equal to 114.35 MAF. Now tell me where does the rest of 10 MAF come from to balance the demand and supply? Please take pain to answer.

>> Besides that, let me inform you that in Water Accord 1991, Para-2, the water allocated to the four provinces is 117.35 MAF. And why our shares/rights have been curtailed you'll know as you keep reading.

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.

>> This is the most controversial part I would like to further discuss. Brother, I guess you know that it's just an official claim that 35MAF (I didn't see the figure 39MAF anywhere) is available for use. Itís only a miscalculated figure, not a measured one.

Thirty-five MAF is a huge quantity of water. It is eight MAF more than the Indus River's annual average flow at Skardu and about one-third of all the water in the irrigation system. How could it escape the eye especially when the provinces are fighting for every drop of water?

If it were true, the delta would not have been ruined and the people in Thatta, Badin and Hyderabad districts would not have faced socio-economic and health problems, including skin and eye diseases, infections, anemia, abdomen problems, diarrhea and some other unheard of ailments, which doctors associate with the non-availability of water. Women and children wouldn't be facing malnutrition and a high mortality rate either.

Also, the coastal area may not have been destroyed and none of the fishermen would have been displaced. The sea incursion may not have occurred and the advancing seawaters would not have inundated more than a million acres. If the claim were true, the mangrove forests, the marine and wildlife and the fresh-water fish would not have been affected. The ecosystem would still be intact. People would have been getting fresh drinking water and they would not have died or been taken ill by drinking polluted and poisonous water.

(You can pickup the Metropolitan of Dawn, Karachi Edition for clarification)

The technical people who have calculated that figure included the super floods that are unpredictable and can occur any time between every 5 - 25 years. This is the reason they have achieved such a high figure. So let me make it clear that even if we build Kalabagh, it will be empty for 4 out of 5 years (on the condition that super floods flow the 5th year, else you can understand). Simply speaking, it will be empty for 80 out of 100 years. The point I wanted to prove here is that we don't have enough water to store. Read next.

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

>> Agreed to this point. However let me state that currently we are not deficient of energy. The Prime Minister himself announced a few months back that we have 2000MW of extra power presently. We are not in any emergency need of energy!

>> The cost of that energy won't be cheap because the project is damn exorbitant.

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

i). Flooding/Inundation of fertile lands

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 up to Nowshera. This is not likely to occur in case of Kalabagh because:

>> There are several instances where dams have cracked and wreaked havoc on the surrounding areas. The case can apply here.
(As I suggested in my essay, safeguards should be guaranteed for this part).

The dam will cause backwater flow and flooding in the Kabul River in the Peshawar valley from Indus water due to heading up at the narrow Attock gorge.
(This is what I learnt while my study. I can't technically prove it. I am not an engineer)

Try to envisage an earthquake at the site of the dam when it is storing water. What do you contemplate after that?

Dams should be far away from habitable lands. I personally suggest that they should be built in the mountains.

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

>> How?

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

>> Tarbela dam is getting silted heavily. Its capacity is quite short to withstand super floods like that of 1929.

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.

>> According to my statistics, the highest conservation level of the dam is 24 feet above the ground level of Nowshera. Through my source, I came to learn that the dam will be 260 meters high. Now I need to know about the ground level of the site where the dam is being constructed to visualize/contemplate the scenario.

I will need to study this point a little deeper. I will clear it afterwards!

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.

>> Who trusts this? NWFP doesn't. She has an account of Tarbela people that serves as a historical evidence of hollowness of such commitments. Central government is a renegade.

(I suggested in my essay earlier that the Central Govt. should try o earn the confidence of the affected parties)

Besides that, population is increasing rapidly. We are running out of habitable places and due to the recent boom in land prices the resettlement plan is economically unfeasible. The powers-that-be are bragging with the habitable land prices of 1980s and they can't even imagine that the cost of rehabilitation will be more than 200% of what they surmise.

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.

>> I read the opposite about this part. According to my source, major proportion of the site consists of fertile land and is a perfect habitable land. Do you have some idea where will such a large people be located and settled?

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.

>> The remodeling is sure to cause diversion; else, the Baloch people wouldn't have raised any objections for a national project. I lack any technical specification here.

They have passed 2 or 3 resolutions against the Dam in their assembly!

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 forests, 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.

>> Who said dams consume water? But those, who have the taps in their controls, do. Yes I am speaking about Punjab. The problem here is that Sindh doesn't trust Punjab. Itís all logical and based on past experiences. I will present some instances of Punjab's treacherous conduct below. My dear brother you're surely misguided about the water share of Sindh increasing after construction of Tarbela Dam. The total storage capacity of Tarbela is something like 9 MAF and the increase in Sindh's share according to your statements is 9MAF. I wonder if the powers-that-be have become so generous to flow all the water from the dam to Sindh.

And yes, as I said, we don't have surplus water to store. So Kalabagh dam will only store the water share of Sindh. And then Sindh will be at the mercy of Punjab. As I write further, you'll understand my points.

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.

>> There is no surplus water. However, let me agree for a while that there is. Well be informed that the 1991 Accords were never in the favour of Sindh (Punjab even tried to inactivate it and replace it with their Ministerial Accord 1994, but failed). 10MAF is indeed insufficient to stop the intrusion. Regarding that Sindhi person, I wonder if he was a Pakistani who doesn't want the development of his country. He emphasized on preservation of nature, which should be our top most priority. The Sindhi person quoted the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). I am quite confused to figure out that who is more competent enough to decide good or bad, our throne-thirsty government or that world class International Union. Dear, if we stop the flow of fresh water in to the sea, the damages will be more horrendous. We are trying to mess up with a natural cycle. The consequences will be; extensive salinity of water; and degradation of land, mangroves and fisheries. Already, millions of acres of fertile land have been rendered barren due to this intrusion. I don't know why we want more cultivation at the cost of degradation of land in Sindh. The so-called well-wishers don't know that due to the sea-intrusion the country is suffering severe economic damage. Amazingly it is claimed that the dam will contribute to the growth of the country. I laugh at those people.

>> We are trying to create wheat at the cost of water, notwithstanding, that we can live weeks without food but not more than a day or two without water. Wheat can be imported, but water canít be.

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.

>> More than 40% (official claim) of Sindh's water is saline. I donít know whether the water in those areas is capable of cultivating lands. However, I think inundation lands can be cultivated through floods only (not sure). Well, small floods will be stored in the dams on the way before reaching the lands that can cultivate those lands. And we can't wait for super floods every 5th year or more, to come and quench the thirst of those lands.

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.

>> I don't know if they are really salt tolerant. The rest of your ideas about the reduction in mangrove forests are agreed on. They are totally true. And I am personally ignorant about their irrigation method. I don't know if they can be only supplied water through the Indus Delta or the sea water can work. As soon I'm competent enough in this concerned area, I will discuss more about it. However salt tolerant varieties exist and you are right to say that they should be planted.

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.

>> Ha-ha... Show me that statistical data. Fresh water in winter, how do you assure that the water will flow down in winter? You missed to talk about the quality of fish.
I can present my own experience here. The quality of Fish in Sanghar is excellent since it receives fresh water. However, the fish of Hyderabad is pathetic in quality and itís all because it doesnít receive fresh water.

You forgot that we're suffering several embargoes for Fish export due to the filthy quality.

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.

>> What do you actually mean by maligning the Government? We had several regimes in between the proposal of the dam and today. I wonder if this was always used as a weapon of so-called maligning EVERY government. And astonishing is the fact that itís the only project used as cherry-blossom, why not the other dams. NWFP, Balochistan and Sindh are not opposed to the construction of dams. Go build Skardu, Bhasha and Katzara, there is no problem. Katzara is the best choice. I will explain in the end, how!

I am least concerned about those politicians. Are they trustworthy/sincere enough to be quoted?

By the way, opposition is backed up by technical experts like Idrees Rajput (Sindh), Fatehullah Khan (NWFP) etc. And these people have nothing to do with politics.

Kalabagh dam is a lollypop to Punjab by Musharraf. Itís a gesture of gratitude, because he was given a positive vote from the Punjab Assembly to retain his uniform as long as he wanted and unfortunately Sindh didn't please him at that stance.

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.

>> He he... the favourite point. Here I can present one of the instances of Punjab's treacherous attitude. Yes, you're thinking right, itís the Chenab-Jehlum Canal. Previously while its construction was on the way, Sindh was assured that water will be drawn into that canal only when there will be surplus. However today we see them diverting water even at the times of drought. Isn't this injustice? Now they are building (maybe have built ) The Greater Thal canal. Sindh has the same reservations again. Letís see who wins.

Itís really unlucky to be a lower-riparian.

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.

>> I agree with you here. Some points of the affected parties may be fabricated or exaggerated but, irrespective of all that, they must be heeded. They are integral units of this country. Consensus must be achieved. The assemblies of these provinces have passed more than 7 resolutions against the dam. Building the dam is no doubt based on the assumption that three out of four provinces and more than 70 million people, who do not want the dam, are totally ignorant and do not know what is good for them. Itís undemocratic. Para-6 of Water Accords 1991 demands written consensus for the construction of a dam. Itís against the law to authoritatively proceed with such a controversial dam. Is Musharraf or Punjab above the law?

And, for your kind information, World Bank wonít finance the project until consensus is achieved.

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.

>> Well, your points are absolutely right here. You have correctly objected the efficiency of channels. In my opinion, we should prefer efficiency over new projects. I have even come to know that our present dams aren't being used to the full storage capacity today? What will we do of this Kalabagh Dam? Musharraf is trying to build a bath tub for him and his ministers .

I have some more points. This time I can oppose the dam openly because you've taken the Punjabi (ha-ha) stance:

1) We don't have storage water.
2) Presently our debt stands at $35 billion. If we take $10 billion more it will rise to $45 billion and we will be further indebted. Letís break the shinning begging bowl now. Letís build small dams, with our own wherewithal and be care-free.
3) Kalabagh dam will be silted quite fast and it has a lifetime of 20 years only.
4) It has a very short life and a very big cost.
5) Its not a flood-control dam
6) IRSA has disapproved the dam.

7) EIA is a study which identifies and quantifies the benefits as well as the adverse effects of a project. It also recommends controlling measures to minimize the adverse effects. EIA is, in fact, a tool for the competent authority to facilitate his decision. It is for the competent authority to decide whether the residual adverse effects after mitigation are acceptable.

You would be surprised to know that EIA has not been carried out even for large projects of national importance. For example, it was not done for the Kalabagh Dam project along with the feasibility studies, and Wapda, on its own, proceeded to the final design stage.

8) Experts are highly opposed to mega projects
9) We must understand that we can't produce water. We should try to conserve nature to keep the supply running.

You know the Baglihar Dam Issue. Be informed that India is totally justified to build that dam on Chenab since it has some share in the western rivers according to the Indus Basin Treaty 1960. Actually Pakistan fears that India would encroach upon the rights of her water share after building the dam. And the condition is exactly the same inside the country. Sindh has the same reservations against Punjab. Itís disheartening to know that Pakistan can't bear injustice at the hands of an outsider but is unresponsive to the cries of one of its dear province

After all this, if a dam is indispensable. Build Katzara dam. According to my studies, itís the best replacement! For further information pickup the "Economics and Business" pages of this Monday and read the topic "Choosing the right dam" by "Fatehullah Khan" who is a senior engineer and ex-chairman IRSA.

I am presenting the basic points below:

Katzara
The dam will generate 15,000 MW of environment-friendly power and avoid equivalent thermal power generation. This will help prevent global warming and improve the environment. It will change the landscape of the country by turning barren and desert like areas into a green landscape.

Katzarah will have six times the storage capacity of Basha or Kalabagh at the same cost. Mind this point; the storage capacity will be 36MAF at the same cost. It can be filled by super floods and no danger of destruction. It will control super floods in the Indus due to global warming and reduce the adverse backwater flow and flooding in the Kabul River in the Peshawar valley from Indus water due to heading up at the narrow Attock gorge.

It will save 35 MAF of floodwater (until super floods arise and there is waste water) going waste to sea each year and provide irrigation facilities for about 10 million acres (5 times more cultivation than Kalabagh) of barren land in the four provinces. Let it be clear that the mid-level sluicing Kalabagh according to its design and operation is not a flood control dam at all as it will be empty and will be on run-of-river from June 1 to July 20.

Katzara Dam alone can save all the dams on the way from silting. Built Bhasha after Katzara and it will last 800 years.

I personally have no allegiance to any political party. I am simply a well-wisher of Pakistan. My province "Sindh" exists with Pakistan. I am identified as a Pakistani (Though I derive my nationality).

Regards,
Adil Memon

In case I have committed any mistake. You can criticize me for it. I am so sorry if I have crossed the bounds of decency in my post. I have tried to control my language since you've often complained about it and a special assertion was made in the PM to have some "positive argumentation".

I will avoid bringing such controversial topics to open discussion subsequently.
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