Kalabagh Dam should be built if you want a stable Pakistan.

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Water is the basis for much economic development and industry, transportation, and energy production.

Today Pakistan is heavily suffering from water crisis Water resources are a vital and underlying component of economic development efforts. Dams are important because they provide water for domestic, industry and irrigation purposes as well they can also provide electricity which is also a current upmost priority to overcome electricity shortage. The geographical location of Kalabagh is best to store water. From Kalabagh reservoir, water can not only be used for generation of electricity but can also be utilised to irrigate the barren areas of KPK, Sindh and Balochistan. The site of Kalabagh is a natural dam, which can be constructed in much less time with less cost than a regular dam. It can store and preserve all that water flowing from rivers Indus, Swat and Kabul, which at present is going waste and falls into the Arabian Sea. 

“Kalabagh Dam would be 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 level of River Indus.” The Kalabagh Dam would provide 6.5 million acre feet of water to cultivate seven million acres of currently barren land in addition to the 3,600 megawatts of electricity it would provide.

We can generate 40,000 megawatt electricity only from river Indus, double than our present requirement, which means very cheap electricity and an industrial revolution. More over we can run railway on electricity, which will save a lot of foreign exchange which is spent on the purchase of diesel for railway engines. During Ayub Khan’s regime, an electric train was started between Lahore and Khanewal, which after 1977 stopped working and at present number of its installations have been stolen or disposed of, very sorry, it’s a national loss, , it’s a state of sorrow, what else I can say.

It’s a request to the sincere people of Pakistan who don't want their and their future generations to suffer please support this cause not a single men in our govt. is talking about this please make it happen raise your voice come out of your homes thats a major cause before anything else. 


Apprehensions of NWFP

i) It is feared that historic flooding of Peshawar Valley including Nowshera town would be aggravated in the event of recurrence of 1929 record flood.

ii) Drainages of surrounding area of Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi plains would be adversely affected by the reservoir thus creating water-logging and salinity.

iii) Operation of Mardan SCARP would be adversely affected.

iv) Fertile culturable land would be submerged.

v) Large number of people would be displaced.


i) a. In the modified design of the project the reservoir conservation level has been lowered by 10 feet from 925 to 915 feet above mean sea level (MSL) thus eliminating the need for construction of any protective dyke near Nowshera. At maximum conservation level of 915 feet, the back-water effect of Kalabagh lake would end about 10 miles downstream of Nowshera (refer Illustration-I). A state-of-art computer based study, backed by physical modeling in Pakistan, has established that recurrence of record flood of 1929 would not affect the water level at Nowshera even after 100 years of sedimentation in reservoir (refer Illustration-II). It may be noted that this completely ignores the effect of Tarbela reservoir, which is now factually providing relief by attenuating flood peaks. It is also notable that flood warring system at Tarbala provides a minimum of 48 hours advance warning before the arrival o large flood peaks.

b. Real causes of flooding at Nowshera and Peshawar Valley upstream entrance of Kabul river at Nowshera into confined channel at the end of Peshawar valley; and backing effect of Attock Gorge downstream through which Indus river has to pass after its confluence with Kabul river (refer illustration I). Before the confluence, Indus river flows through a wide valley of over 8,000 feet and is then forced to pass through 1000 feet wide gorge for 5 miles. This constriction forces the river water to back up thus raising flood levels in Kabul river upto Nowshera. Whereas Kalabagh should not adversely affect flooding in Nowshera and Peshawar Valley above, an upstream dam on Swat river could provide effective assurance against this chronic inherent problem. Consequently, Munda Dam multi-purpose project is being included in NWRDP.

ii) Lowest ground levels at Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi areas are 970,962 and 1000 feet above MSL respectively, as compared to the maximum conservation level of 915 for Kalabagh (refer Illustration-III). This maximum Kalabagh reservoir level would be maintained only for 3 to 4 weeks during September and October after which it would deplete as water is released for Rabi crops and power generation (refer Illustration-IV). Ultimately it would go down to dead storage level of 825 feet by early June. This operation pattern of reservoir, by no stretch of imagination, could block the drainage and thus cause water-logging or salinity in Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi areas.

iii). The invert level of main drain of the Mardan SCARP are higher than maximum elevation of 915 feet. Thus, these drains would keep on functioning without any obstruction.

iv) Total culturable land submerged under the reservoir elevation of 915 feet would be 27,500 acres (24,500 acres in Punjab and 3000 acres in NWFP). The submerged irrigated land would be only 3000 acres (2,900 acres in Punjab and 100 acres in NWFP). It may be noted that about 1,000 acres of irrigated land acquired for Mardan SCARP alone.

v) a. The estimated population to be affected by the project would be 83,000 with 48,500 in Punjab and 34,500 in NWFP. A liberal resettlement plan would provide alternate irrigated lands to the affected families. The affected population would be resettled along the reservoir periphery in extended/new model villages with modern facilities of water supply, electricity, roads, dispensaries, school and other civic amenities. The affectees would enjoy and improved environment.

b. Another major incentive provided for the affecters in this case, not previously practiced in Pakistan, would be to fully compensate the frames 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 only undertaking that they would not claim any damages to crops for occasional flooding.

c. The comprehensive resettlement package proposed for Kalabagh is in fact most innovative and attractive then those previously adopted for Mangla and Tarbala Dams. The basic objective being that “a the end of day”, the affectees should find themselves in a better socio-economic environment.

Apprehensions of Sindh

i) The anxiety that the project would render Sindh into a desert.

ii) There would be no surplus water to fill Kalabagh reservoir.

iii) High level outlets would be used to divert water from the reservoir.

iv) Cultivation in riverain (Sailaba) areas would be adversely affected.

v) Sea water intrusion in Indus estuary would accentuate.

vi) Mangrove forest, which are already threatened, would be further affected adversely.

vii) Fish production and drinking water supply below Kotri would be adversely affected.


i) Dams don’t consume any water. Instead these store water during flood season and then make it available on crop demand basis for the remaining dry periods of t years. The real demonstration of this came after full commissioning of Tarbala Dam in 1076. during pre-storage era of 1960-67, average annual canal withdrawals of Sindh were 35.6 MAF. After Tarbala the corresponding figure rose to 44.5 MAF with over 22 percent increase in the Rabi diversions alone increased from 10.7 to 15.2 MAF. It is estimated that after Kalabagh, canal withdrawals of Sindh would further increase. A indicated in Illustration-V, most of this increase would come in regarding desertification of Sindh defies even the basic logic of a storage reservoir.

ii) A. WAA of 1991 has allocated, on the average, about 12 MAF additional supplies to the provinces almost all of which is in Kharif season. On the other hand, factually the surplus water is a available only within 70-100 days flood period. It is estimated that to provided additional allocated water over the year, a storage of about 3.6 MAF would be needed (out of this, 2.2 MAF would be in the early Kharif season of April to July).

iii) Initial studies have indicated that construction of high level outlets at Kalabagh is economically unviable. Notwithstanding this, if any province wants to build, then its share of water would be strictly governed by WAA, 1991.

iv)a An impression is also prevailing that with Kalabagh Dam, riverain areas of Sindh, commonly called “ Sailaba” would got out of production due to control over floods. It can be appreciated from configuration of riverain area (refer Illustration-VI) that “Sailaba’ crops are grown on the land adjacent to main river and the creeks. Though crops are sown on the soil moisture soon after the floods, these need more than one watering to mature. As a result ‘ Sailba’ lands give poor yields. Consequently, frames are generally required provide irrigation facility through shallow tube wells or lift pimps. Prime movers on these tubewells have to be removed during the flood season to avoid damage.

b Sindh has presently 660,000 acres of ‘ Sailaba cultivated area form Guddu Barrage to sea. This area is initially sown due to the moisture provided by flooding with river stage of 300,000 cusecs and above.

c. Flood peaks above 300,000 cusecs would still be coming after Kalabagh, without much detriment to the present cultural practices, while large floods would be effectively controlled. This would, in fact, be conductive to installation of permanent tubewells to provide pernnial irrigation facility in riverain areas. Towards this end, a separate scheme is being included in NWRDP.

v)a. The fear that present extent of sea water intrusion in the Indus Delta would be further aggravated by Kalabagh is not substantiated by factual data. Studies indicate that presently the total effect of Indus estuary is only limited to the lower most portion of Delta and gets dissipated below Garho and Chowgazo gagues heights at Garho are completely insensitive to Indus discharges of upto 700,000 cusees (refer III ustration-VIII). Therefore, the sea water intrusion, which seems to be at its maximum even now, is unlikely to be aggravated further by Kalabagh Dam.

b Another apprehension is that sea water intrusion into existing aquifer system would cause serious quality deterioration. The groundwater contained in the aquifer is effectively saline as far north as Hyderabad. Therefore, intrusion of sea water along shore line of Delta is of little consequence. This is further supported by the the fact that there is southward oriented groundwater gradient throughout this aquifer. Considering the very low transmissivities of the aquifer in Delta region, upward sea water intrusion can be almost ruled out.

vi)a. Out of the total 1.53 million acres(MA) tidally inundated historic Indus Delta, Mangrove forest cover an area of almost 0.32 MA In this forest, spreading from Karachi in the west to Rann of Kutch in the east, 95% of the population now consist of a salt tolerant variety.

b. Extent of the active delta area(as distinct from the historic delta area described above) is about 294,000 acres. Out of this, the mangroves cover only 7,400 acres or 2.5% of the area. Most of the remaining area is in form of mud-flats. The reason for this area being too small could be a combination of factors. Recently, NED University of Engineering and Technology has carried out a study titled “ What Realy Threatens us and Our Mangroves” This brings out that reduction in mangroves in essentially due to frequency of tidal inundation being too small instead of fresh water reduction caused by upstream abstractions, which started with Sukkur Barrage in 1932. Other major causes are uncontrolled overgrazing and cutting due to extreme population pressure of Karachi.

c. Therefore, in order to revive the mangroves, real need is for replanting salt tolerant varieties with provision for controlled doses of fresh water. Obviously, this possibility would be much enhanced with an upstream storage facility like Kalabagh.

vii)a. A recent study has shown that there is no clear evidence to suggest that fisheries stocks in the river reach below Kotri have declined due to progressive reduction in the surface water supplies. On the other hand, fish production has been constantly increasing as indicated by statistical data. As such, Kalabagh Dam is unlikely to have any adverse effect on fish production in the area.

b. In the riverain area downstream to Kotri Barrage, groundwater is predominantly saline or brackish and as such unsuitable for either irrigation water supply. After Kalabagh, winter supply in the river would improve thus assuring more drinking water.


Kalabagh would store surplus water in the flood season and make it available for controlled utilization during the low flow season. This water would thus be used for sowing and final maturing of the Kharif crops and entire Rabi crops.

Irrigation oriented operation of the project gives the highest overall economic return. Thus the full live storage of 6.1MAF would be available for guaranteeing assured irrigation supplies throughout the year including replacement of the storage loss on the three existing reservoirs

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