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  #71  
Old Thursday, January 19, 2006
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PM describes Kalabagh as country’s lifeline

ATTOCK, Jan 10: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has termed the Kalabagh dam the future lifeline of Pakistan and said it will be built with consensuses, as it is very essential for the economical and agricultural stability of the country.

Speaking during a visit to a tent village set up here for quake victims, he appreciated the people of Attock district for showing their support for the construction of the Kalabagh dam, despite the fact that its construction would negatively affect the district.

Speaking on the occasion, District Nazim Tahir Sadik said about 22 villages would suffer loss due to the dam plan, but “we should ignore these small individual damages and give preference to the country interests, as it will bring economical and agricultural prosperity to the country”.

He said the people of Attock district and tehsil governments had extended great cooperation in setting up the tent village in Fateh Jhang and in provision of meal and other facilities to the accommodated victims on self-help basis.

About political activities, he said the district was a stronghold of the PML, as his group once again had won the slot of district nazim and all six seats of tehsil nazims with a majority in the recent local body’s election. He expressed the hope that the PML would win all the national and provincial seats of the district in next general elections.

He said the overwhelming success of his group in the district was a sign of public confidence, which he had achieved due to his four-year outstanding performance during the last tenure for the uplift of the district.

http://dawn.com/2006/01/11/top8.htm
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  #72  
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Kalabagh Dam will not be built

Staff Report

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain said on Monday that President General Pervez Musharraf has assured him that the Kalabagh Dam “will not be built”.

This is a great victory for the people of Sindh, Hussain claimed in front of a large gathering at the party’s Karachi headquarters.

He appreciated the president, prime minister, and Tariq Aziz, principal advisor to the president, for ‘patiently’ hearing out Sindh’s case, and accepting its logical stand on the 40-year-old problematic issue.

Hussain said that the success of Sindh was owed to the unity of the people and the courageous stand taken by the MQM, its workers, supporters and well-wishers. The MQM is the only political party in Pakistan that has solved this issue, he said. “The announcement about the Kalabagh dam is the first step towards the restoration of rights of Sindh,” he said and pledged to fight for the province’s rights in the future too.

He said that he had asked the president to implement the report on provincial autonomy of the committee comprising Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Syed Mushahid Hussain. “The president said that the committee’s work is very slow and that once the report is compiled he would issue orders to implement it immediately,” Hussain added.

The president informed Hussain that a few miscreants were involved in making Balochistan’s situation worse. “I have asked President Musharraf to catch such miscreants without troubling the entire population,” Hussain said.

The president has assured me that an inquiry would be made into the matter and the guilty would be punished, he added. The president has also agreed to meet a five-member team of the MQM to listen to Sindh’s problems and he would issue orders for their solution.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/defaul...1-1-2006_pg7_26
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  #73  
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Win-win situation for everyone

By Mayed Ali
jang.com.pk


LAHORE: President Pervez Musharraf has finally opened the lid to a potential magma by cautiously announcing decisions on two most sensitive issues, construction of dams and the National Finance Commission Award, eclipsing the federation for a long time now.

The president was subtle and managed both the vital issues in a very tactical way. He mapped out his strategy in such a comprehensive way that he not only successfully resolved the problem, he tried to do justice to all the parties to the tussle.

And mind it there is no dearth of stakeholders over both the issues - the governments at the centre and provinces, the opposition everywhere and the nationalists. The president was articulate, to-the-point and his speech covered both the issues in entirety along with the rest he discussed.

While ending years' long debate on the construction of dams, President Musharraf announced the work on the construction of Bhasha Dam will commence from next month, giving a deadline vis-a-vis launching of work on one of the big dams.

This will be followed by launching of Munda Dam formally. Besides, he made it clear Kalabagh Dam would not be compromised at any cost. However, he, being head of the state and custodian of the federation, would not launch Kalabagh Dam till a consensus among the provinces was ascertained. In addition to this, Akhori Dam will also be constructed in due course.

On the face of it, the president has addressed the apprehensions of smaller provinces by announcing first the launch of Bhasha Dam as against Kalabagh Dam. Technically, the actual construction on Kalabagh Dam is expected to start before that of Bhasha Dam, keeping in view the technical progress made so far in both the projects. The actual work on Bhasha Dam will commence in mid-2009 if everything else related to the project goes as planned. That is, the preparation of tender documents and detailed engineering as well as additional investigation studies and model testing on Bhasha Dam will be completed in early 2008.

Moreover, the pre-construction activities, including the land acquisition and upgradation of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), are expected to complete in 2009 to be followed by the actual construction on the dam.

On the other hand, Kalabagh Dam can be launched instantly. All the actual construction awaits is a slight updating on the already prepared reports on designs and the tender documents. This process is expected to be completed in one year after the formal approval. So the construction on the dam can be initiated in 2007 after getting reports on the environment impact assessment and the process of bidding.

So, Kalabagh Dam has an advantage of two years, at least, over Bhasha Dam. President Musharraf's bid for evolving consensus would not take over a year, keeping in view his 'persuasive prowess'. Even if the matter is delayed till 2007, that is, inception of new governments after the scheduled general elections, the actual construction on Kalabagh Dam might start before or along with the actual construction of Bhasha Dam. So, President Musharraf has a couple of years on his side for getting on with Kalabagh Dam project, which he favours more for obvious practical reasons.

Moreover, he has luck on his side to ensure the establishment of 'suitable' governments in all the provinces and at the centre by 2007 so the possible remaining political impediments could be removed well in time. The all important aspect to Kalabagh Dam issue was the formal public announcement by the president, which he did in his speech. The loose plan has been put to effect, and that is it. The Kalabagh Dam project has been formally rolled. The construction of Munda Dam is a testimony to the same effect for it is a part of the Kalabagh Dam project.

Going by the facts, it seems the president has struck an immaculate balance vis-à-vis his commitments and assurances to all the provinces with a win-win situation for all parties to the conflict. He watched the NWFP's financial interests in shape of royalty by announcing both Bhasha and Munda Dams, he addressed Sindh's apprehensions of alleged expected manipulations by Punjab by announcing Bhasha Dam first and secured the Punjab's interests by spelling out loud his resolve on the construction of Kalabagh Dam.

However, the president, perhaps, deliberately shied away from the actual problem attached to the construction of dams, especially Kalabagh Dam. The president's speech was dressed with figures, calculations and advantages in favour of his point. The president also quoted the World Bank report to support his argument.

The real problem with the detractors of the projects is their reservations on the possible manipulations by Punjab once the KBD starts to deliver. The track-record suggests some of the reservations are not all that ill-founded. Moreover, the construction of dams and reservoirs just cannot be compared with similar ventures in the advanced first world.

In the US or Australia, the states enjoy equal rights and there is a lot lesser power abuse so the rights of all the states are secured unlike Pakistan. Had the president announced a constitutional protection of water, power and financial rights from all these planned projects, his ideas might have carried more weight for the Sindhis, Balochs and the Pathans.

As for the NFC Award, President Musharraf has taken a bold initiative by increasing the percentage of federal grants from 42.7 per cent to 45.33 per cent to start with. This will increase to 50 per cent in the next five years. Masterfully, the president focused more on the subvention grants instead of fiddling with the divisible pool, against which the provinces have serious reservations.

Till the provinces decide some workable solution, the less-privileged Balochistan and the NWFP would get a huge chunk of Rs over 9 billion each for development purposes. Sindh will get over Rs 5 billion, while Punjab will get over Rs 3 billion.

It will fetch the provinces an additional Rs 51 billion from the next fiscal year. This is really a great achievement, keeping in view the stalemate between the provinces since the time the next NFC Award is due. The president has deferred the issue till the consensus between the provinces is brokered. Again, the next general elections might have a key to this problem as well.
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  #74  
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Construction of Bhasha dam kicks off in Feb: Musharraf

ISLAMABAD, January 18 (Online): President General Pervez Musharraf has said that all major water reservoirs in the country will be constructed by the end of 2016 whereas in the best interest of the nation Bhasha and Munda dams will be build first and he will inaugurate the construction of Bhasha Dam in February 2006.
"The construction of water reservoirs is a complex issue and a decision has been taken in the federal cabinet meeting that all dams are must for the economy of the country Bhasha, Kalabagh, Akori, Munda and Kuram Tangi dams will be built and as far as reservation of provinces are concerned, their qualms will be allayed," he observed in his address to the nation on Tuesday at state media.

President General Pervez Musharraf has said that the country was facing some challenges at the present and his address to the nation was very much necessary in the current state of affairs.

The president held out his assurance that he will do his every bit to change the public opinion on construction of mega water projects and expressed the hope the situation will run to normalcy after his explanation over the matter.

He said we want the countrymen to prosper and will take every decision in the best interest of the masses.

Referring to recent World Bank report issued on 22 November 2005, Pakistan has exhausted its water resources and need to immediate measures to build water reservoirs, as Pakistan only has capacity to store thirty days of water, India can store water up to 130 days of water, United States 900 days.

Pakistan’s current storage capacity is only 9% of the available water resources against World’s average of 40%, he noted per capita water storage 150 cubic meter, China 2000, Australia, 5000, US 5000 cubic meter, our economy will excel if new water projects are launched and completed.

The reports says that every new mega dam will add four to five percent to Pak GDP, if we built one dam it could add six billion dollars in our GDP, if this figure touches two we will get 12 billion dollars and if we will build three dams then the figure will multiply with three manifolds to eighteen billion dollars.

Pakistan, he said is getting 3 billion dollars revenue from Tarbela Dam, which is benefiting forty percent of our population.

According to World Bank report, the president said Pakistan can generate 5000 megawatt whereas we are only generating 14000 mega watt electricity against our requirement of 20000 mega watt electricity, this situation has forced us to produce electricity from oil, which is seven manifolds costlier then the electricity generated from the water.

"The developed nations are generating seventy percent of their electricity from water, and we should learn a lesion from them," he underlined.

General Pervez Musharraf went on to say that the people of Sindh are opposing KBD the most, whereas the people living on lower grounds give money and plead to their governments for building water reservoirs for supply of water to their lands, but in country of ours the situation is complete reverse. I am astonished over it, he remarked.

He mentioned the recent report of A N G Abbasi commission and said Construction of new dams is imperative for the agricultural and industrial development of the country. "I want that interests of all the provinces are protected."

"All members of the committee agreed that Kalabagh and Basha Dam can be constructed. One member has, however, observed that no diversion of water should be allowed from the dams. The Chairman of the Committee has observed that the construction of only one of the two dams, of which feasibility is available, can be started with edge for Basha Dam over Kalabagh Dam, " he added.

In our country three major river Indus, Chenab and Jehlum but still people are forced to drink contaminated water I constituted three committee three years ago in 2003, one committee is headed by Nisar memon, second committee is headed by A N G Abbasi and third was based on the report of foreign consultants on Down Stream Kotri issue all the reports are available on websites.

There is unequivocal consensus on immediate construction of new reservoirs. Water Accord of 1991 is sacrosanct and should be followed in letter and spirit.

President said that the second issue is Balochistan issue. I want to make it clear that it is not issue of Baloch nation. People are telling lies. They are spreading wrong rumours for their personal interests. Baloch nation is bold and are patriotic Pakistanis who want prosperity and development of the country.

He went on to say that a few tribal leaders have held the entire country hostage for the sake of personal gains. They are engaged in actions for the last thirty to forty years. They are undermining the writ of law. These tribal chiefs have put in place their feudalistic norms. They don’t want people prosper and become educated. They insulted their progressive Baloch fellow sub tribes. They got their beards shaved, he pointed out.

Kohlu package of Rs 1. 5 billion was announced. This all was meant for the economic uplift and education development of the poor masses. But they lobbed rockets in reply to it. These are tribal chiefs who are involved in the attacks on PIDC building in Karachi, Ichra in Lahore, rocket firing in Quetta and gas pipelines, electricity installations and railway tracks.

President underscored that Mega projects of Balochistan and development projects are running under contribution. Three Chinese friends were killed in Gwadar port. How tyrannical it is they are perpetrating cruelty with their own people. Sub tribes are being banished from their homes who are now living in Punjab and Sindh in miserable condition.

President pointed out that these tribes had employed one or two thousand militia men. They are paying them 6000 rupees per head. These tribal chiefs are doing so for two reasons i.e in order to suppress their own people and to put them in jails. They on the other side have set up three dozens farari camps. Order is issued to them from there and these militia men strike. These militia men are engaged in acts of sabotage in other parts of the country.

They extort money from the people which is a source of funneling money to them. Second source is coal mines which they have held in their occupation. They are undertaking foreign tours. We know them and deal with them well.

President said that we can not offer garlands to them in return for attacking helicopter of frontier corps general. I have been trained in a manner that I have to take action against them.

President noted that it was absolutely wrong that army interfered there. Only Frontier Corps is initiating action there. Action is being launched against those who have set up farari camps and held the coal mines under their illegal occupation. No siege was made of Kohlu and Dera Bugti nor the army had undertaken any operation. Only one battalion army is sitting in Quetta.

He maintained that army is not mad that it kills women and children nor such permission will be accorded. This is only targeted operation against miscreants, he maintained.

President reiterated that action was being taken against the elements who were against the development projects and were involved in creating law and order situation.

President while citing to national unity, national finance award, national development, prosperity, poverty alleviation and dams issue said that unluckily no government of the past succeeded in sorting out these problems. The burden of these problems fell on my government soon after its installation. It is imperative that these issues are resolved as any delay will detrimental for the country.

First of all we take NFC award issue, president said. There is issue of distribution of money by federation to provinces. It has two parts. First is revenue issue and second is some billion rupees are given to Balochistan and NWFP. 42.7 percent shares were given to provinces by federation.

President announced that federation was ready to give more share to provinces. It is ready to increase it to 50 percent. But the provinces are not agreeing on it. They don’t want to secure original amount from the federation. They are in clash with each other on the distribution of shares among themselves. No government could take decision on NFC award.

Therefore I had to interfere. All the four chief ministers and prime minister were called. All the chief ministers authorized me to take decision on NFC award. But when I asked the chief ministers to authorize me in writing, I very regretfully say that NWFP returned it with two conditions. President can not take any decision in this situation when the provinces are not agreed over it.

He held that clause 6 of section 160 of the constitutions empowers the president to make amendment in it. This amendment will remain in place unless all the provinces agree on new NFC award.

Therefore, I after consultation with the Prime Minister and team of experts have decided that interim financial aid which is granted by federation to provinces be increased in order to bring improvement in fiscal condition of the provinces.

The decision on amendment runs into two parts that is divisible pool and subvention, he said adding that subvention was earlier 42.7 percent which will now be increased to 45.33 percent. One percent increase will be made gradually every year in this respect. Therefore it will grow to 50 percent within five years. This way provinces will get 50 percent money from the federation.

On the issue of earthquake affectees President General Pervez Musharraf has said few elements were giving the impression that government of Pakistan has forgotten the quake affectees but I assure you that our minds, heart and attention and totally looking at the situation of the quake affectees and the strategy we evolved for quake affectees is still in practice.

He said the government, people and Pakistan Army are actively engaged in relief operation which, he added is going on successfully in all affected areas.

He appreciated the efforts being made by entire nation, NGOs and Armed Forces from Khyber to Karachi for the early rehabilitation of quake survivors and reconstruction of affected areas.

He observed that the world community responded promptly soon after the earthquake havoc, and funds made available by foreign and local donors would be utilized exclusively and judiciously for reconstruction of the infrastructure destroyed in the affected AJK and NWFP areas.

The President in his address said that the recently held Donors’ Conference had attracted participants from around 85 countries, including representatives of international lending agencies like IMF and the World Bank. Several donors promised soft-term loans payable on easy installments and conditions. He said international community has pledged 6.2 billion dollars whereas Overseas Pakistanis have send Rs 6.50 billion to Pakistan and I appreciate their commitment towards the people suffered from the quake. He said the government was working upon a successful strategy to manage resources, and is now implementing the strategy in a transparent manner, coupled with immaculate accountability. The entire procedure is computerized and all details of distribution of quake relief has been put on website, he held.

He pointed out that during his visit to Devos for attending Economic council conference on January 25 to 26, he will highlight the issue in his address.

President said that about five hundred thousand tents were needed for the quake affectees, whereas on government plea and looking at the situation of quake affected areas Pakistani nation, international community and factories provided eight hundred and fifty thousand tents, which have so far been distributed among the quake affectees. We have so far erected 605 tent villages in the country.

He also said that 1.3 million shelter homes have been constructed for quake affectees living above five thousand feet altitude. I hope these homes will be helpful for the people living at such a high altitude, particularly in this weather.

Some elements were fearing that epidemics might break out in quake affected areas and a second wave of death was awaiting people in the winter, but nothing has happened so far, I feel these elements are very poor sighted and narrow minded and they are deliberately trying to disturb the people, he added.

The president said financial assistance to the tune of rupees 18 billion is also being provided to affectees for reconstruction of their houses and business and we have so far not received any kind of complaints as far as distribution procedure is concerned.

The quake affectees will get rupees 1,75,000 (one hundred and seventy five thousand) in three installments so that they could build quake-proof homes in their locales and Armed forces as well as teams working in rehabilitation work will assist the quake-affectees to built their houses.

The president also said that government will also set up health and education institutions in the quake affected areas and they will be built with state of the art construction technology, he said and added government is evolving strategic planning in this regard.

http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=131453
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Opposition terms it Musharraf’s ‘retreat’: Leaders criticize speech

ISLAMABAD, Jan 17: The opposition on Tuesday termed President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s decision to build Bhasha dam first a ‘retreat’ and declared his National Finance Commission (NFC) Award ‘unconstitutional and illegal’.

Opposition leaders from Balochistan refuted Gen Musharraf’s claim that troops were not involved in any operation in the province and claimed that army was in ‘full action’ there.

Reacting to the president’s address to the nation, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal said “Kalabagh dam has proved another Kargil for the general”.

He said Gen Musharraf had admitted that fears of opposition parties that Kalabagh dam could be detrimental to the country’s solidarity were justified.

The MMA leader said the nation was expecting the president, being the army chief, would condemn the US attack in Bajaur Agency, but he kept silent on the issue.

On the Balochistan issue, the MMA leader said Gen Musharraf should tell the nation what issues had been discussed by Pakistan Muslim League leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain with Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti.

“Why is the government not implementing the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan?” he asked.

People’s Party Parliamentarians senior vice-president Mir Baz Khetran alleged that armymen were carrying out operations in Balochistan wearing the uniform of Frontier Corps. He said that had the army carried out an operation against those sardars who had set up private jails, people would have welcomed it.

He claimed that the sardars who had arms and ammunition were with the ruling party.

He said the decision to build Bhasha dam instead of Kalabagh dam was a victory of the people and the opposition.

Senator Sanaullah Baloch of the Balochistan National Party said Gen Musharraf had no right to impose the NFC Award on the provinces.

He said it was evident from the tone of Gen Musharraf that he did not represent the federation and he only wanted to impose his personal decisions on the nation.

The senator said that first Gen Musharraf gave arguments like a lawyer and then himself announced the verdict that the operation in Balochistan was justified. He said the president’s comments had “rubbed salt on the wounds of the Baloch people”.

“This is cyber age and everyone knows how the paramilitary forces have besieged the Baloch people,” he said.

He said now there would be stronger protests in Balochistan against the military government’s designs to grab the natural resources of the Baloch people.

PML (Nawaz) information secretary Siddiqul Farooque said: “Gen Musharraf has compromised the country’s sovereignty and damaged national unity and has not fulfilled any commitment made to the nation during his six years and three months long authoritative rule.”

He said that despite his statements about time for difficult decisions, the president had once again proved that he was neither a leader nor a statesman.

Gen Musharraf was an ‘usurper’ and he had no right to take decision on fundamental issues, the PML-N leader said.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/1
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Altaf welcomes president’s decision

KARACHI, Jan 17: MQM leader Altaf Hussain welcomed President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s decision to give priority to Bhasha and Munda dams and termed it a “historic victory”for the people of Pakistan, especially of smaller provinces.

He said this during a telephonic address to a gathering at the party’s headquarters soon after the president’s televised speech here on Tuesday.

According to a press release, he thanked President Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the federal cabinet for accepting the people’s verdict against the Kalabagh dam. His addresss was simultaneously relayed to party supporters in Hyderabad.

“It’s a historic victory for the people of the country, especially Sindh,” he said. He said he was happy that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had earned the credit for “forcing the abandonment of Kalabagh dam,” a press release quoted him as saying. He congratulated the people of Sindh who, according to him, had stood by the MQM in opposing the Kalabagh dam and said that once again “Altaf Hussain has proven that he means business.”

Source: http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/18/top4.htm
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Every drop counts

John Wall ( World Bank's country director for Pakistan )


President Musharraf's announcement of his government's intention to proceed with the Bhasha multi-purpose project comes after decades of discussion on what should be the next major dam on the Indus. I am sure the very useful and needed debate on the subject will continue. I suspect the quality of the debate would rise if one asks a different question than whether or not this dam is justified. The question I suggest is: what should Pakistan do to get the most income from each drop of water to reduce poverty?

This is the basic question asked in Water Economy: Running Dry, the new World Bank report on water resources in Pakistan (available at www.worldbank.org.pk). This is a very important query since Pakistan is basically a desert with a river running through it. Water is scarce and almost all that is available is already being used. Pakistan has invested heavily in its irrigation system, so much so that it now has the largest integrated irrigation system in the world. This system has brought immense benefits to the country. Unfortunately, since a flurry of attention and high-return investment in the 1960s and 1970s, Pakistan's water management system has been neglected, giving rise to the four major gaps that exist today.

• The maintenance gap: Much of the system is in poor repair, is financially unsustainable, dangerous in parts, and unable to deliver water to farmers reliably and predictably at the design discharge level. This reduces the value of the water to farmers immensely.

•The trust gap: Monopoly + discretion - accountability = corruption. The system is admirably designed to provide water entitlements in a predictable, timely way but instead provides inequitable, unreliable supply of water in an environment of mistrust and conflict, from the provincial level to the farmers' fields.

•The performance gap: Irrigated yields in better-managed systems in desert conditions, such as the Imperial Valley of California, are twice those of Pakistan per unit of water and three times per hectare. In Pakistan, yields from self-provided groundwater are twice that of canal supplies.

• The knowledge gap: Pakistan's world-renowned water planning capability has fallen into disrepair, instead of modernising to provide smart, adaptative management. As irrigation systems around the world mature, the rates of return to new infrastructural investments fall and returns to spending on better management rise. Pakistan's growth of water management knowledge, and hence its value to the nation, got stunted over time.

As against these gaps, Pakistan has two major strengths to build on.

• Water entitlements are well established: Pakistan's rights to the waters of the Indus Basin are clearly defined in the Indus Waters Treaty. The Water Accord of 1991 establishes clear entitlements for each province and, implicitly, for each canal command. There are well-established rules for distributing water to each distributary and its outlets. Finally at the watercourse, warabandi establishes each farmer's right to his turn to take whatever water is flowing in the delivery channel. This is a very important achievement that only needs enforcement in a more transparent, participatory manner to increase the income value of surface water immensely. Similar entitlements need to be established for groundwater use.

• High returns from investment in better water management: Of course the flip side of the current low returns to surface water use in Pakistan is the potential to capture higher returns from better water management. Pakistan did get higher returns than the World Bank predicted from the Tarbela Dam. A thorough review of India's large Bakra-Nangal similar multi-purpose dam showed that because of the increased demand for agricultural labour, the poor benefited from the biggest percentage increases in income from investments in irrigation and hydropower infrastructure. Furthermore, the economic returns are higher for the electricity produced from the major combined-use dams than from agriculture.

Pakistan needs to focus on four critical 'software' areas:

• Maintain assets: The replacement cost of Pakistan's water resource assets is over 100 per cent of its total annual income (GDP) and more than 150 per cent of its total public debt. Most of this is owned by the provincial governments and is quite old. The small fiscal space in the provinces, plus the inclination of irrigation engineers to build anew rather than maintain, has left a crumbling infrastructure.

• Manage water resources: The challenge is not to raise or lower the sluice gates, which should be a decentralised, non-government function; it is to regulate the system to ensure the delivery of water entitlements, transparently measure and monitor them with accountability for equity and (just as importantly) perception of equity, from the provincial level to the canal to the distributary to the outlets to farmers' fields.

• Improve on-farm productivity: There are tremendously high pay-offs from combining better water management with better farming practices -- land levelling, watercourse lining, introduction of new technologies, marketing, diversification -- to get more highly valued crop per drop.

• Get the priorities right: Resources are scarce. Use them wisely by maintaining and rehabilitating existing assets, decentralising irrigation management and ensuring water entitlements through transparent, accountable systems. Start long-gestation investments (institutional and human capacity building, major infrastructure investments and knowledge creation) early.

For a country so dependent on irrigation, Pakistan has very little water storage. The US and Australia have over 5,000 cubic metres of water storage per capita, China has 2,200 cubic metres and Pakistan just 150 cubic meters. The arid water basins of the Colorado and Murray-Darling Rivers can store 900 days of river run-off. Equally arid Pakistan can store barely 30 days' worth.

Pakistan's population and siltation dynamics mean the pay-off from investing in additional storage is very, very high. Pakistan is a 'young country' in terms of both its population growth (i.e. high growth and high proportion of population in reproductive ages) and geologic growth (i.e. rapidly growing mountains that dislodge silt). This means that water reservoirs need replacement sooner than otherwise.

The electric power benefits of either Kalabagh or Bhasha are even higher than Tarbela's, which were 60 per cent of total economic benefits. In the cases of Kalabagh and Bhasha, the power benefits are 75 to 85 per cent. Pakistan has developed only 10 per cent of its 40,000-megawatt economically viable hydro-power potential, much lower than India's and China's 30 per cent and the richer countries' 75 per cent.

The concerns of different provinces should be abated if there is trust in the entitlements provided in the 1991 Water Accord. Compared to the existing water entitlements, there is a strong redistributive force in the allocations of newly mobilised water in favour of the NWFP and Balochistan, with the Punjab's share declining more than that of Sindh. There are very important issues concerning the fair treatment of people and the question of who gets the 'royalties' on power generation. These need resettlement. Even more significant is the issue of 'trust', that the clearly defined entitlements will be respected.

Now that the president has made a decision, it is important for Pakistan to carry through on a variety of initiatives that are needed complements. Pakistan needs to adopt and implement a comprehensive water development policy, not just a water storage investment programme. Pakistan must give priority to developing infrastructure in Balochistan and the NWFP to enable them to use their entitlements to existing and 'new' water. Pakistan needs to make all aspects of its water allocations under the1991 Accord more transparent, reliable, rule-based and trustworthy. Pakistan needs to appoint a high-level, neutral water auditor equipped with the resources to measure all abstractions from the system and report these in a public and open way. Pakistan needs to resolve the long-standing dispute over entitlements for water release below Kotri Barrage to maintain the water balance in the Delta, taking into account a recent set of studies and recommendations by a panel of experts. Pakistan needs to devise a complete financing and balanced plan for a public sector development framework that accommodates the investment needs for water development along with Pakistan's many other development priorities, including health, education, power and transport.
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WB ready to fund Bhasha dam

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: The World Bank on Wednesday indicated its readiness to finance Bhasha and other viable dams but called for implementation of water accord and replacement of prevailing royalty payment patterns to provinces.

Speaking at a news conference, country representative of the World Bank John W. Wall, however, said the geological and technical studies of the Bhasha dam were not available and the bank had not yet analyzed its economic rate of return. However, he said, it was presumed that it would be a good investment.

He also formally released a report “Pakistan: Country Water Resource Assistance Strategy, Water Economy: Running Dry”, which has extensively been published in the press a couple of months ago. The bank will conduct the appraisal of the project, examine its economic rate of return and ensure that environmental and displacement concerns were mitigated.

He termed Bhasha dam’s cost estimate at $6.5 billion very old and said it was based on calculations made before the completion of its feasibility study. Similarly, he said the cost estimate of Kalabagh dam at $6 billion was also very old.

In his opinion, Pakistan will have to announce a National Settlement Policy for the resettlement and compensation for people to be displaced by the construction of new dams to qualify for the World Bank financing.

He said major investments in irrigation would remain a major challenge because of fiscal responsibility law that puts a maximum on the amount of public debt the government could borrow.

He said the economy was booming but the government’s abilities to mobilize tax revenue to pay for public goods remained low and there were many priorities for development in addition to water sector.

He said Pakistan needed to appoint a neutral water auditor.

http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/19/top3.htm
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300m-long Bhasha tunnel completed: Musharraf’s speech written before quake: Rashid

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday said that the feasibility study of Bhasha dam had been completed while work on geological investigation was continuing apace.

“A 300-metre-long tunnel of Bhasha dam has been completed while work on another similar tunnel is continuing for conducting geological investigations,” he said in a rejoinder to a statement of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and former NWFP chief minister Pir Sabir Shah that the feasibility study of the dam would take several years to complete.

Sheikh Rashid, speaking at a seminar on the need of reservoirs, said the government was all out for carrying out the construction of all the major reservoirs and ready to provide every assurance to those opposing the dams.

He said the decision on the subject had been reached after hectic and marathon sessions of technical experts.

He pointed out that the vested interest had allowed Independent Power Producers to operate which had been generating power by using oil. In recent years, he said the prices of oil had escalated and had subsequently affected the power tariff.

The minister said that all the five major dams would be completed by 2016.

Responding to an opposition’s charge, Sheikh Rashid said that President Pervez Musharraf’s speech on dams delivered on Tuesday had been prepared well ahead of the earthquake but was delayed for certain reasons. He said the country’s progress was co-related to the progress in Balochistan. He warned that no hurdle on the way to progress would be tolerated and all those elements posing a threat would be dealt with accordingly.

He said a vast majority in the province was in the favour of development and progress but a handful of sardars in a specific part of Balochistan had been opposing it.—APP

http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/19/top2.htm
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Kalabagh dam project

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/public/Kalabagh_Dam.htm

Mangla dam

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/water_reserves/mangla_dam.htm

Gomal dam

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/water_reserves/gomal_dam.htm

Mirani Dam Project Balochistan

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/water_reserves/Mirani_Dam.htm

Background of Water Reservoir and needs

<http://www.infopak.gov.pk/water_reserves/background_of_water_res_needs.htm>

Source:<http://www.infopak.gov.pk/water_reserves/water_resources.htm>
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