DAMS Storage dams on Pakistan’s many large rivers are an important part of the country’s agricultural and irrigation systems They also contribute to the supply of electric power; in 2005, about 25 percent of the total power consumption came from hydroelectric resources Three reservoirs have been critical for Pakistan’s economic development The Mangla dam built on the Jhelum, as a part of the Indus River Replacement Works in 1963-1967, generates 1,000 MW of electricity and also transfers water from the Jhelum to the Chenab The Tarbela dam on the Indus River was also a part of the same program for transferring waters from the rivers that were allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 Built in 1969-1974, it generates 3,500 MW of electric power Feasibility studies for the construction of two additional dams on the Indus, one at Kalabagh and the other at Bhasha, upstream of Kalabagh, were prepared but have not been acted upon There was opposition to their construction from the international community, which had become increasingly concerned about the latent costs of the projects, including the rehabilitation of displaced people, as well as the destruction of flora and fauna in the areas to be submergedThere was also opposition to the dams-in particular, the one at Kalabagh-from the provinces of the Northwest Frontier, the site of the project, and Sindh, which was troubled by the further loss of water in the Indus that had already suffered deep declines since the construction of Tarbela The only large hydroelectric project to be constructed since the completion of Mangla and Tarbela was the “run of the river” reservoir at Ghazi Brotha, also on the Indus

Soon after assuming power in October 1999, the military government headed by President Pervez Musharraf declared its intention to complete the long-postponed water and hydroelectric projects, in particular the dam at Kalabagh It was concerned about the serious shortage of water available in the country Water supply in Pakistan was estimated at 1,200 cubic meters per head per day, in 2005, only slightly more than the 1,000 cubic meters per head per day considered to be a situation of acute shortage By the end of 2005, the Musharraf administration signaled its intention to start construction of a series of large water storage projects, including the dams at Kalabagh and Bhasha It said that its decision to proceed was based on expert advice In 2004, two committees-the parliamentary committee on water resources, and a technical committee of experts on the same subject-were constituted to make recommendations about the sequencing of large water projects Both committees recommended the construction of the dams with a number of safeguards provided to downstream users When and if completed the Bhasha dam will have storage capacity of 02 million cubic meters (MCM), and power generation capacity of 4,000 MW The Kalabagh Dam has designed storage and power capacities of 6 MCM and 3,600 MW, respectively

Another dam at Akhori is included in the list of government’s “mega projects” This dam will have storage capacity of 06 MCM, and power generation capability of 600 MW

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