LAHORE: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has urged all the chambers of commerce in the country and other leading trade organizations to raise their voice for early construction of Kalabagh dam.
In a joint statement, the PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice Chairman Khamis Saeed Butt and Vice Chairman Amjad Ali Jawa said that Kalabagh dam was the most feasible project to ensure cheaper electricity and help overcome impending water scarcity. They said that this is the only dam that could revolutionize the agriculture sector besides enabling the manufacturing sector to cut cost of doing business.
The PIAF leaders said that it was need of the hour that all the segments of the society in general and the business community in particular should develop a consensus to get the projected completed at the earliest.
They said that Kalabagh dam had already been politicized to the maximum therefore a joint struggle would help in change of mind in the areas where people have misconceptions about this project of immense national importance.
The PIAF leaders said that it was good for the economy of the country that all the 27 countries of the European Union had shown their trust on Pakistan but the apprehensions would gain ground if the manufacturing sector was not provided with enough uninterrupted supply of electricity at affordable rates.
They said that there was no denying the fact that the government was making all-out efforts to overcome the shortage of electricity and utilizing all available internal and external resources but at the same time it should also divert its attention towards multipurpose Kalabagh dam to save the country from devastating floods in coming years and to overcome the shortage of water to agriculture sector.
The PIAF leaders added that it was very unfortunate that the previous governments did not give due importance to such a project that could put the country’s economy back on rails without any external help.
They said that all those who were opposing the dam were enemies of the country as they were playing with its future. “Only because of government’s silence over Kalabagh dam, the country is suffering a loss of Rs132 billion annually. This amount could be saved by initiating construction of the dam.”
They said that the government should constitute a team of experts belonging to public and private sectors to convince all the provinces that Kalabagh dam is necessary for the progress and prosperity of the country.
“The experts had already proved that there was no threat to Nowshera city as it is 150 feet above the resulting water level of the proposed dam.”
The dam would not only be beneficial to Punjab alone but it would be more helpful in erasing poverty from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it would irrigate 800,000 acres of cultivable land that is located 100-150 feet above the Indus river level in the province. “The land could only be brought under cultivation if the river level is raised that is only possible if Kalabagh dam is built.”
The PIAF leaders said that any further delay in building consensus would cost the country and its coming generations very dearly. All stakeholders should show greater maturity on this issue.