PM stresses on Building new dams

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Aug 14, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that his government would build 10 dams in the near future to counter the threat of a looming water crisis in the country. The construction of new dams is imperative especially in view of the erratic rainfall patterns, induced by climate change, the country has been experiencing in recent years. In some years, there is scanty rain while in others there is excess of it and a large amount of which flows into the sea. Also, our rivers receive around 80% of water inflow within three to four months. All this makes a strong case for increasing the number of dams in the country. Dams will prevent water from ending up in the sea, and the water thus saved will be available for irrigation and domestic purposes and for generating clean electricity.

The PM is optimistic that the construction of Mohmand and Bhasha dams would greatly help overcome shortage of irrigation and drinking water and add to power generation. A sufficient quantity of irrigation water would increase food production and save the precious foreign exchange now spent on import of food grains. The construction of new dams would also create many jobs. The Tennessee Valley Authority of the US, set up in 1933, as part of the programme to overcome the effects of the Great Depression, is a good example of the multiple benefits accruing from dams. Projects launched under the Authority controlled floods, helped improve irrigation, increased electricity generation and created huge job opportunities.

The whole process will prove a virtuous cycle. Imran Khan deplored that the construction of Bhasha Dam had been approved in 1984 but construction work could not start due to lack of political will on the part of past governments.

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