There is a dire need to evolve a consensus on Kalabagh dam, Ali Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Broadcasting Ali Zafar on Monday stressed the need for evolving consensus on the construction of Kalabagh dam, saying ‘foreign elements’ could be behind making this project controversial.
Speaking at a news conference, the information minister said that despite knowing and facing acute water shortage across the country, governments have been failing to work on short and long-term water reservoir projects. “There is a dire need to evolve a consensus on Kalabagh dam,” he said adding that involvement of certain corners in making the project controversial could not be ruled out.
He said the biggest challenge for the new government would be to achieve the consensus on big dams.“Currently Pakistan is facing the worst water crisis which needs to be addressed on a war footing,” Zafar maintained adding that currently, 10 suggestions on overcoming this severe issue is under consideration.
Referring to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty with India, the minister said under the accord, Pakistan was allowed to build at least seven dams on major rivers on which the country had exclusive rights. “But unfortunately we only managed to construct two,” he regretted.
He also said the capacity of existing dams is reducing constantly mainly due to desalination due to which water storage capacity is also shrinking. He further warned that the county could face further water crisis in the coming future due to the impact of climate change. Kalabagh dam has been made controvercial but necessary for Pakistan.

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