Kalabagh Dam has since long been planned and proposed to be built on River Indus at the site of Kalabagh in Mianwali region of Punjab. But unfortunately it has been a controversial issue and much argued upon and debated issue since its inception. If it is constructed and produces 3800 MW as it has been conceived, it will be the largest source of Power generation in the country. The problem of load shedding will be reduced to a great extent and a very large area of fields nationwide will be irrigated.
General Pervez Musharraf, in his regime declared to build the Dam for the welfare of Pakistan but could not do so practically. The successive government of PPP under the premiership of Raja Pervez Ashraf declined to act upon the plan and build the dam so it is since that time in the cold storage. But after the heavy floods of 2010 the then Prime minister, YousafRazaGilani had to admit that had the Kalabagh dam been built the scale of losses due to floods would be much lesser.
Why Kalabagh Dam is Important?
The answer to this simple question is that if the Kalabagh dam is not built on war footings there is a great possibility that Sindh and KP provinces will face drought in the coming years, there would be much shortage of water. With the construction of Kalabagh Dam there will come prosperity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as there will be a great quantity of water available to irrigate almost 8,00,000/ acres of cultivable land that is located in such a position that it is not feasible to irrigate through River Indus because it lies above 150 feet level. The barren land of almost 7 million acres area can be irrigated as Kalabagh dam can provide 6.5 million acre feet of water for the purpose. Moreover 3800 MW of electricity can be produced from the Dam which is enough to meet the deficit of electricity and thus problem of load shedding can be eliminated to a great extent.
Bhasha dam, another project is stated to be the alternative for kalabagh dam by some opponent quarters but according to technical experts it can never be an alternative for the Kalabagh dam because it has to be built in the hilly terrain and it is not feasible as compared to Kalabagh dam.
Why Kalabagh Dam is Opposed?
Sindh Province is the greatest opponent of the construction of Kalagbagh Dam, Many politicians of Sindh province are against the construction on political grounds and their objections are as follows:
1- They say that their share of Indus water will be decreased and major portion will go to Punjab and KP provinces.
2- There are chances of Sind's lands become saline and barren because Indus River keeps the sea water away from their lands.
3- They assert that there is not enough water for another big dam as already Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam have caused to shrink the size of Indus and its capacity.