Public limited company for KBD proposed

Posted on June 21, 2011. Filed under: Energy crisis, Hydal, Pakistan |

LAHORE, June 18: The Institution of Engineers Pakistan has urged the politicians not to intervene in technical matters like Kalabagh Dam which are essential for development of the country.

“Remember, if we fail now in making decision on Kalabagh Dam immediately, the coming generations are not going to forgive the present regimes,” said a resolution unanimously adopted at the 46th annual general body meeting of the IEP on Saturday.

It said the government had been unable to generate electricity in spite of having capacity to meet the total demand as major power houses were based on thermal fuel.

“To avoid heavy loss and crippling the country just on the threats of a few politicians, the only immediate solution lies in the announcement by the government to construct Kalabagh Dam on top priority basis,” said the resolution presented by IEP Lahore Vice-Chairman Syed Khalid Sajjad.

“The Kalabagh Dam is going to take five years in completion at a cost of $5 billion providing water for irrigation to all the provinces, controlling flood and providing electricity at a minimum cost of Re1 per unit up to minimum of 3,500MW. The project being right in the middle of load centre will have negligible cost of transmission.

“The next alternative is to construct hydel power stations on Bhasha Dam through Bunji tunnel which, however, are going to take 15 to 25 years with an investment of $15 to 25 billion for each project which will provide around 5,000 to 8,000MW each.

“Another hydel station under study on Neelum-Jhelum project is also a viable solution but will produce around 1,000MW only but can only be constructed not before five years and without having much capacity for accumulation of irrigation water.

“The politicians are requested to leave technical matters for decisions and implementation by the engineers being technical experts.

“Since government is short of funds because it has levied heavy taxation on furnace oil, diesel, petrol etc for use in thermal power houses and transportation industries belonging to public as well as private sector and have not cleared the bills of the Pakistan State Oil through collection of monthly revenue from consumers.

“The revenue collected by the government was much less than the cost of fuel imported and as such had entered in a circulate debt.

“The government should immediately set up Kalabagh Dam construction company on public-private partnership basis, having its stakeholders from all the provinces of Pakistan, to undertake the responsibilities of arranging funds by selling its shares in open market, finding solutions and arranging compensations to the people who are supposed to be the loser due to construction of the dam, reconciling the differences and developing harmony among the provinces, creating healthy atmosphere for construction of KBD, convincing and removing the apprehension of political, technical and general public of all the provinces in the larger interest of the country,” concluded the resolution.

Dawn.com

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