93 Indian dams to destroy Pakistan’s agriculture – ICCI

  • January 08, 2010
Showing great concern over Indian plan of constructing 93 dams on Kashmiri rivers and other places, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the government to immediately take up this issue with India as it will drastically reduce water flow to Pakistani rivers destroying our agriculture & economy at large.
Karim Aziz Malik and Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, Vice Presidents of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a joint statement said that India reportedly has chalked out an action plan to build 93 dams at an estimated cost of Rs.230-billion. They said that execution of this plan will make our agricultural lands barren as it will almost dry up our rivers.
They said India has already created acute water shortage for Pakistan by starting construction of 450-megawatt Baglihar hydropower power project on the Chenab River as the 470-feet high & 317-meter wide dam with a storage capacity of 15 billion cusecs of water has significantly reduced water flow to our agriculture. They feared that another Indian dam Kishanganga on Neelum River will further reduce the water flow to Pakistan.
Karim Aziz Malik said that according to some estimates only Baglihar Dam will cause a loss of 321,000 million acre feet (MAF) of water to Pakistan bringing some 405 canals and 1125 distributaries to dead levels and affecting 13 million acres of agricultural land on which rice, wheat, sugarcane and fodder crops are grown.
He stressed upon the government to immediately plan construction of small dams and water reservoirs for storage of water and energy generation. He lamented that despite possessing world’s best canal system, Pakistan is losing about 60 MAF of water due to lack of reservoirs which is falling into the ocean.
Ahsan Bakhtawari said serious energy shortage, massive load-shedding and lowest ever strategic oil reserves are emerging as major threats to the business and the economy at large.
He said already due to energy crunch large number of industrial units has closed in the country rendering thousands of people jobless and hurting country’s exports.
He said Pakistan is predicted to face power shortage of about 5,500MW in coming months and stressed upon the government to take measures on war footing basis to meet energy needs of country and to save the industry & economy from further devastation.