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Small dams planned all over country, says Musharraf

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    Small dams planned all over country, says Musharraf

    Small dams planned all over country, says Musharraf

    ISLAMABAD, March 13: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf
    on Tuesday said many small dams costing about Rs200 billion
    would be built at various sites in the four provinces to address the
    water shortage problem.

    He was responding to a question asked by a woman councillor at
    the concluding session of women councillors' convention here. Gen
    Musharraf said it was not right to think that construction of only
    Kalabagh dam could fulfil the irrigation and power generation needs of the country.

    He said instead of insisting on building Kalabagh Dam in the presence of reservations of Sindh and the
    NWFP provinces, the government had decided to prepare feasibility for small dams like Hingol Dam
    in Balochistan, Gomal Zam Dam in the NWFP and Sehwan Dam in Sindh.

    However, instead of spending Rs800 billion on Kalabagh dam, it had been decided to go for small
    dams which could serve the same purpose, he said.

    Hingol Dam, to be built at a cost of about Rs15 billion, will have the capacity of one million acre feet
    and will irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Gomal Zam Dam will consume about Rs20
    billion and will have the capacity of 1.3 million acres of feet.

    He said Kalabagh Dam could be constructed when Sindh and NWFP provinces did not
    haveobjections over its construction.

    He said many more dams had to be constructed to cater for the requirements of the country. "This has
    to be a constant process. Bhasha Dam will also be constructed," the CE observed. Small dams, he
    said, could be completed within five years while construction of the Kalabagh Dam would take 10

    Gen Musharraf lamented that instead of building small dams the governments in the past, had been
    insisting on the construction of Kalabagh Dam. "If they had taken the decision 15 years back, many
    dams would have been completed by now," Gen Musharraf said.

    He said the height of Mangla Dam could be raised to further four to five feet which would increase its
    storage capacity.

    Note that i am discussing only the dam, and not the continued peice on women in the govt that is seperate topic.

    Good to see they are thinking properly now with the small dams plan.

    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

    Found this on the News, which provides more details on the contruction history and problems of resettling the people.
    I wonder how the people will react if it is agreed to build this dam, as it is less contriversial than the Kalabagh, environmentally, politically and socially.


    Govt not to have smooth ride on Bhasha Dam

    News Analysis

    By Kaleem Omar

    KARACHI: Speaking about the water crisis, Chief Executive General
    Pervez Musharraf said in Lahore on Monday, at the CPNE lunch, that the
    government had decided to go in for the construction of smaller dams
    instead of wasting more time on evolving a national consensus on
    Kalabagh Dam.

    "We can work on the Bhasha Dam first, and later take up the Kalabagh
    Dam," he said. However, he added, it would take three to four years to
    start work on Bhasha Dam as its feasibility had not yet been prepared.

    The dam site of the proposed Bhasha power project is located on the
    upper Indus River 314 kilometres upstream of Tarbela Dam and about 120
    km downstream of the confluence with the Gilgit River. The drainage
    area of the dam is 152,000 square km. The site would contain a reservoir
    of 9 cubic km, with an initial live storage of 7 cubic km at a full supply
    level of 1,160 metres.

    The power generation facility at Bhasha would comprise 12 Francis
    turbines each with an output of 205 megawatts (MW) at a design net
    head of 145 metres. Power production at full supply level would be 3,360

    The Bhasha power project was studied by Montreal Engineering Company
    Limited (MONENCO) of Canada and is described in their 1984 feasibility
    report. This was a detailed investigation, but the project would require
    further study before the final design phase.

    The project has received a limited amount of environmental
    investigation. Preliminary studies and a reconnaissance mission by Asian
    Development Bank experts a few years ago have concluded that the
    environmental impacts would not be severe. Some of the main issues
    relate to resettlement of the population whose villages would come
    under the reservoir and relocation of parts of the Karakoram Highway.

    The 1983 estimate of the population affected by reservoir inundation
    was 13,600. By the year 2000, estimates of the affected population had
    reached 22,000. Although resettlement at Bhasha is on a much smaller
    scale than at Kalabagh, there could be special concerns because the
    people of the area belong to an ethnic minority. Their economy is based
    on traditional habits that are well adapted to the rugged environment.

    MONENCO's 1984 feasibility report was considered deficient in certain
    respects by project reviewing agencies. A panel of experts reviewed the
    report in 1988, with World Bank assistance. They expressed concern
    regarding the inadequacy of investigation and made certain
    recommendations in this regard.

    Additional studies were considered necessary to upgrade the feasibility
    studies to the level where the Water and Power Development Authority
    and the government could take a decision about going ahead with the

    The review committee suggested that the work be undertaken in two

    Stage-I: Investigations to select appropriate project layout to develop
    the hydropotential and detailed studies to establish the feasibility of the
    selected project layout.

    Stage-II: Detailed engineering design to the level required for tendering
    purposes and preparation of tender documents for all major contracts.

    According to Wapda, there has been resistance to the project by the
    local population right from the start, causing disruption in investigation
    works by Wapda.

    The main demands of the locals are: (a) settlement of the project
    boundary dispute; (b) a share in the royalty accruing from the revenue
    of the project; and (c) numerous other demands, including the
    employment of locals on the project, compensation for lands and houses
    that would be inundated by the reservoir, and a change in the name of
    the project to Diamir Dam.

    Efforts were made at government-level to resolve these issues. In this
    connection four high-level meetings were held during 1990 to 1992 in the
    Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA) at Islamabad, but
    without yielding any concrete results.

    On September 12, 1995 the Ministry of KANA constituted a standing
    committee to deal with the problem. The committee asked Wapda to
    prepare an incentive package for compensation and rehabilitation.
    Wapda then circulated policy guidelines on resettlement and
    rehabilitation for the affectees.

    The committee asked the deputy commissioner Chilas to arrange
    meetings with the elders of the area to sort out project issues. Again,
    however, these meetings yielded no tangible results.

    The committee also asked the director photogrammetry to demarcate at
    sites the boundary in coordination with the deputy commissioner Diamir
    and the deputy commissioner Kohistan. The director subsequently
    reported that the claims of Kohistan and Diamir were wide apart and
    recommended that a commission be formed at an appropriate level to
    resolve the issue.

    Intriguingly, the committee also advised the local administration to "work
    at site in a low profile." All field activities, the committee said, should be
    low-profile and should be carried out in a "camouflaged manner", with
    the exception of the drilling operation which was site specific and could
    not be camouflaged.

    On October 5, 1998 the Minister for Water and Power chaired a meeting
    on Diamir (Bhasha) Dam in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by
    officials of Northern Areas Wapda, the Ministry of KANA and the Ministry
    of Water and Power.

    At this meeting, the Minister for Water and Power announced that the
    name of the Bhasha Dam Project had been changed to Diamir Dam
    Project. He said that the project's power station would be located on
    the right bank of the Indus River in the finalized alignment. He said that
    compensation to displaced locals would be paid strictly at prevailing
    market rates.

    He further said that the displaced population would be issued identity
    cards and given preference in recruitment of labour for the project,
    followed by other locals of the area. These displaced persons and other
    locals would be given training for skilled and semi-skilled jobs at special
    training camps to be set up by Wapda.

    On November 2, 1998 the Minister for Water and Power paid a visit to
    the dam site and held briefing sessions for two jirgas of locals. At these
    jirgas, he informed the locals about the decisions that had been taken at
    the meeting held on October 5, 1998.

    Following these developments, Wapda began taking a number of steps to
    implement the directions of the Minister for Water and Power. Among
    other things, Wapda, in consultation with the Northern Areas Civil
    Administration, began to actively pursue the identification of a large area
    of land called "Khalsa" which belongs to the government.

    Wapda is also examining the possibility of building small dams on tributary
    streams for gravity-flow irrigation of the area. It has also completed a
    reconnaissance survey to identify Khalsa land in the area and a survey
    to identify that portion of the Karakoram Highway that would be
    inundated by the Bhasha reservoir. Satellite imagery maps of the area
    are also being prepared, with the help of NESPAK.

    The PC-II for the Bhasha Dam project was approved by the government
    in 1989 at Rs 841.47 million, including a foreign exchange component of
    Rs 422.52 million ($ 25 million at the then rate of exchange).

    Due to the non-availability of foreign aid, work on upgrading the 1984
    MONENCO feasibility study was entrusted to local consultants
    (NESPAK-Associated Consulting Engineers) in 1989. However, the study
    remained inconclusive due to a shortage of funds and site-access
    problems created by the locals.

    Now, foreign financing of at least $ 25 million is required by Wapda to
    engage foreign consultants to prepare detailed feasibility studies. In
    1992 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had agreed to finance the
    feasibility studies to the tune of $ 20 million and to arrange co-financing
    of a further $ 5 million. Later, however, the ADB told Wapda that, in
    view of the request made by the government to the ADB for partly
    financing the Ghazi Barotha run-of-the-river power project, the loan for
    the Bhasha Dam project would have to be deferred.

    In December 1995, however, the ADB indicated that financing of the
    Bhasha project was subject to the resolution of the issues raised by the
    locals, and also subject to the implementation of the hydropower
    privatization plan.

    Given the fact that no headway has so far been made for the
    implementation of this plan, ADB financing for the Bhasha Dam feasibility
    seems to be out for the time being.

    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


      Another wise and excellent move by the CE. All the debate for the alst 20 years or so has been on the building of Kalabagh dam. And from ZAB to NS we have never been able to reach a consensus on the issue due to regional and political polaraistation.

      While all the time the demand for new water has increased many fold, and left entire regions completly dry. It has long been predicted that Quetta will be a desert in some 10 years, and totally dry up. That part of Balochistan is in urgent need of water and the CE's plans for small dams will alleviate this.

      [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited March 14, 2001).]


        In fact it seems that plans for the Kalabgah Dam have been shelved. Good news. It shows the CE is listening to the smaller provinces grievances.

        Farewell Kalabagh

        The Kalabagh dam, a subject of much controversy and debate, has finally been shelved. The Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf said in Lahore on Monday that as other options were available, the talk about this controversial project should stop. This decision flows from the heavy economic and political costs involved in building the dam. It meant, as the Chief Executive put it, Rs800 billion in currency as well as alienation of Sindh and the NWFP. He mentioned Bhasha, Gomal and some other more viable options. The level of Mangla dam reservoir could also be raised. Their combined storage capacity will be more than Kalabagh. All of them will not cost more than Rs. 200 billion and may be completed within four to six years except Bhasha which might take 14 years. Kalabagh will take at least ten years to build. The preferred choices are now quite evident.

        For years together, the Kalabagh dam had been generating political dissent, doubts and alienation among Sindh and NWFP. While this proposed project continued to generate much heat, the political governments of the past kept on insisting that national consensus be evolved about it. But that did not satisfy the provinces which were against the Kalabagh dam. Their fears emanated from unequal apportionment of water, dislocation of the people and submerging of fertile agricultural lands. With the passage of time, it was becoming increasingly clear that the creation of additional water storage capacity had become inevitable. As the idea of building a water reservoir at Kalabagh kept on agitating the minds of the people in Sindh, NWFP and even in Balochistan, the search for alternative options continued. This should have been done much earlier.

        Now that the government has identified other sites where water reservoirs can be built at a cost much less than the one involved at Kalabagh, the controversy should now end. Already, the country is facing a severe water crisis and delayed rains have been threatening agricultural production, the problem has to be addressed on war footing. Meanwhile, the grievances of the provinces about water apportionment should be immediately removed. The work on building alternative dams ought to be started forthwith. At the same time, the problem of water shortages should be addressed through building small reservoirs which will augment the supplies in the shortest possible time. One dam project has finally been laid to rest, others must begin without more loss of time.