During a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retired) Muzamil Hussain revealed that Pakistan wastes water worth Rs 25 billion every year. It is an alarming situation for Pakistani citizens.
Hussain further said that although Pakistan receives 145 million acre-feet of water every year, yet, due to poor management, only 14m acre-feet of water is preserved.
He added soil gathering at the base of Tarbela Dam is another major issue due to which the storage capacity of the dam has decreased by 36 percent. Therefore the idea of constructing the Diamer-Bhasha dam is now necessary.
Tarbela, the life saver dam of Pakistan was completed in 1978 with the World Bank’s assistance. It is also one of the largest earth filled dams in the world.
Wapda Chairman showed his disappointment that only two dams had been built in the country over the past 70 years.
Another senior government official said that a Chinese consultant was hired by Wapda to check the conditions and to conduct a workable study on desilting of the Tarbela dam.
According to consultant report, de-silting of the dam is an impractical option, which is not feasible either economically or technically. Moreover, if done incorrectly, it may damage the Pakistan largest powerhouse and reservoir.
The official lastly said it’s better to build a new dam of the same size and capacity.
Contributor: Rabia Asim