Energy shortfall: painful consequences

THE CHRONIC problem of energy shortfall is resulting in prolonged power loadshedding and subsequent multiple problems. There is talk of using coal and wind energy as also import of power from India in addition to restarting work on Nandipur/Chichoki projects.

What is not being referred to is the need of spurt in hydel projects like the Kalabagh Dam that would solve the endemic problems of power and water shortage as also mitigate flood damage below the Tarbela Dam.

Even though the Lahore High Court had issued directives for taking up the work on the Kalabagh Dam, as already decided by the Council of Common Interests, its decision was blown up in thin air by the previous government. Funds instead were diverted towards the Bhasha Dam to build roads in Gujjar Khan.

There has been a constitutional petition, No. 37 of 2000, by the Watan Party and the scribe under Article 184(3) of the constitution to build the Kalabagh Dam by referring it to a referendum before the people of Pakistan that is pending before the apex court awaiting judgment.

Whereas various short-term steps are being suggested to improve power generation which are dependent largely on imported fuel that have led already to a circular debt of Rs700 billion as reported in the press that is difficult to settle.

The permanent solution to water and power problems lies in the making of mega hydroelectric dams.

The nation looks up to the apex court to help resolve the energy problem of power and water shortage by directing the government to build the Kalabagh Dam at the earliest.

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