Last Updated 13 Apr 2020

Kalabagh Dam And Hydroelectric Power In Pakistan Environmental Sciences Essay

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The Kalabagh Dam was one of the proposed undertakings in Pakistan when it comes to hydroelectric power workss in the state. The proposed Kalabagh Dam was supposed to be built on Indus River. Government of Pakistan was the backing authorization in the building. Mianwali District was selected as the proposed site of the darn precisely situated at Kalabagh. The part was near to the boundary line of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The very origin of this undertaking was controversial and different authoritiess had a serious argument on the building of this reservoir. It was eventually in December 2005 when, so General Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan announced that Kalabagh Dam will be constructed for the greater involvement of Pakistan. He made several agreements for the building every bit good during his government.

It was back in May 2008 when Raja Pervez Ashraf, the Federal Minister for Water and Power of Pakistan called off the Kalabagh Dam undertaking. Raja Pervez Ashraf farther justified his determination by saying that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and other stakeholders involved in the undertaking were opposing badly and it was non executable. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gilani stated in one of his interviews post the 2010 Flood that desolation would hold been manner less if Kalabagh Dam was constructed.

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Kalabagh Dam was a multi-purpose undertaking in footings of nature and was expected to hold a storage capacity of 6.1 million acre pess ( MAF ) . The undertaking was expected to endorse the Water Apportionment Accord ( WAA ) that happened in 1991 harmonizing to which the irrigation system to states was to be streamlined. In add-on to this, the aim of Kalabagh Dam was the handiness of inexpensive hydropower. The National Grid was anticipating a rise of 3600MW in the production capacity.

Kalabagh Dam was supposed to take up 110,500 sq. Miles of Catchment country in the Kalabagh Region in District Mianwali. Harmonizing to the statistical analysis, the location had a maximal inundation record of 1,200,200 cusecs of H2O back in 1929. The mean one-year H2O flow at the location is found to be an tremendous 91.4 MAF that best suits the location to be turned into a Dam. Kalabagh Dam was a mega undertaking with an expected gross capacity of 7.9 MAF and unrecorded capacity of 6.1 MAF.

It was planned that Kalabagh Dam is traveling to hold power units each bring forthing 300MW, 12 in measure with the turbine caput design of 170 pess. The complete human dynamo was an indoor one and the production in the initial stage was expected to be around 2400MW and finally lift to 3600MW in the running stage.

The expected cost of this undertaking back in 1997 was somewhat around Rs. 250 Billion when the US Dollar was drifting at Rs. 45.

Kalabagh Dam was planned for the greater involvement of the state and its resources. Pakistan being one of the blest states around the universe has a batch of fresh H2O supplies round the twelvemonth. The geographics of this state is good suited for dikes and H2O storages both for storage intents and power coevals intents. Kalabagh Dam was proposed for settling down the irrigation system and had hydropower potencies as good. The greatest advantage of Kalabagh dike was that it was rendering great consequences on an highly low-cost monetary value ticket.

Kalabagh Dam was the least expensive multi-purpose solution to both the irrigation and power outages. Both the irrigation and power coevals capacities of Pakistan were expected to lift well through the undertaking. It was expected to be the 2nd great irrigation system after the Indus Basin Project in the late 1960 's with similar function of doing a good start towards a incorporate national H2O resource development-cum-management system. The undertaking was all set to get down in 1980 's and the undertaking would hold been in the on the job status by twenty-first Century harmonizing to the engineering back so.

The contention started developing from the really start of the undertaking and rose from the state of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The contentions were all wholly based on deficiency of information or hear say. There were reserves in the heads of many people around these states based on pure conservative ideas. There were many alterations made in the initial stage in order to do it look friendly to an mean head but that excessively, was of no usage.


As stated earlier, the building of Kalabagh Dam triggered a great contention amongst the four states of Pakistan. It was merely Punjab that favored the undertaking that is besides the strongest state amongst the four. The other three states expressed their reserves and dissatisfaction on the undertaking and their provincial assemblies passed declaration against the proposal. This places the undertaking into the consideration stage for a long clip until it was confirmed in 2005 and so rejected in 2008.

WAPDA has already highlighted the fact that Pakistan is traveling to be confronting terrible H2O deficit in the hereafter if nil was done to make storages. The H2O handiness in 1951 was every bit low as 5260 three-dimensional metres while it fell to 1038 three-dimensional metres in 2010 whereas the population was 34 million and 172 million severally. Harmonizing to statistics, the least to keep the provinces of a H2O sufficient state is 1000+ three-dimensional metres of H2O.

There are even premises that the building of dike is traveling to adversely impact the environment every bit good as any other big dike does. The building might besides displace a figure of people from the site locations. The building was planned to originate in 1984 but did n't get down even as yet.

Punjab 's Point of Position:

Punjab is the lone state in complete favour of the Kalabagh Dam as this undertaking was expected to provide both H2O and hydro-electric power for a really nominal cost. Water demands in Punjab are besides higher as the population here is great as compared to other parts of the state. The H2O that flows into the Arabian Sea is a pure waste for those life in Punjab where the H2O can be used to water lands that are sterile.

Punjab is in desperate demand of two dikes apart from merely the Kalabagh Dam at Bhasha and Skardu. Kalabagh Dam 's site is best suitable and this would hold been built at the first topographic point harmonizing to the demands of the state. The dike was best suited to water Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar.

Punjab is the state that will be affected to the maximal extent if the Kalabagh Dam is non built. The Water Treaty between Pakistan and India that initiated in 1960s set the royalty of Sutlej and Bias into the custodies of India. Ever since this pact was signed, the Ravi, Sutlej and Bias are used merely the season of inundations when India needs to let go of H2O.

Electricity produced by H2O is the cheapest amongst all that is produced by other resources. The state even agreed that it is non traveling to claim any royalty despite the fact that the location of Kalabagh was situated in Punjab.

Sindh 's Point of Position:

The strongest of the oppositions of Kalabagh Dam is Sindh on evidences of `` larceny of H2O by Punjab '' . Sindh claims that Indus River belongs to it by virtuousness of the name and history. Sindh farther claimed that the building of Mangla and Tarbela was the greatest larceny of H2O that was used for irrigation in Singh. Sindh raised expostulation on the portion of Indus H2O that they receive. The claim was that Kalabagh Dam will water Punjab and North-West Frontier Province.

Sindh besides claimed that the coastal countries of the state demand changeless supplies of H2O into the Arabian Sea so that the H2O from the sea does non irrupt into the land. This intruding would go forth a batch of country of Sindh into saline desert that will come up as an environmental issue. This will besides destruct the coastal Rhizophora mangles.

The building of Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam already turned the mighty Indus River turn into a watercourse station the Kotri Barrage in Hyderabad. They besides justified that large dikes can non do on H2O that comes chiefly from rain as it does non rain throughout the twelvemonth. If there was no rain, Sindh did n't see any H2O station the Kotri Barrage. The location is said to be unsuitable for such a building as there are legion breaks on the lowest point of the vale.

There were a figure of other environmental jobs that were non addressed in the yesteryear. Silt is the greatest of the issues that can do H2O deficit impacting the capacity of Manchar Lake and Haleji Lake. The Sindhis were non convinced with the attempts of President Musharraf and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz mentioning to the H2O larceny that took topographic point in 1991.

Political Parties like Muttahida Qaumi Movement who was in favour of General Musharraf and was ally in the Federal Assembly were badly opposing the thought of Kalabagh Dam. Parties like PMLN retracted themselves from their stances saying that the Dam should be built for the greater involvement of the state.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 's Point of Position:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 's point of position is pretty different from that of other states. Their first claim was that Punjab was ne'er good at carry throughing promises. The state was non even believable for maintaining up the constitutional warrants. Another of their concern was with mention to the Ghazi-Barotha hydro electric power. They claim that the full canal system of Ghazi-Barotha system tally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the turbines lie 500 metres within the Punjab state but the royalty is rejected to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The royalty of coevals of Kalabagh dike became an issue even when the undertaking was finalized as people populating in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa expected the Federal Government to be unfair in giving royalty to the state alternatively expected them to travel for the favour of Punjab. They besides stated that the Nowshehra District will be submerged by the dike and there will be even more part of the state being affected from water-logging and salt.

Balochistan 's Point of Position:

Balochistan is non straight affected by the Kalabagh Dam instead there have been a figure of patriots Baloch Standards that consider that Punjab has been governing the smaller states in the yesteryear.


Kalabagh dike has been a difference of all time since the really thought was incepted. There have been terrible resistance to the building of Kalabagh Dam through all times from three States of Pakistan and none apart from Punjab merely have favored the building of Kalabagh Dam. There were different evidences posed by other provincial authoritiess warranting that Kalabagh Dam should non be constructed. General Pervez Musharraf, ex-president Pakistan had elusive programs to build Kalabagh Dam in 2016 harmonizing to the feasibleness study ( Fulcher, 2006 ) .

The dike site close to Kohat part and the Khewra salt mines was controversial from the really first twenty-four hours and the later was the largest operating salt mine around the universe. There was a immense hazard that the salt will leach in immense measures from the scopes into the river Indus and the overall hydrology of the part is traveling to alter drastically. This came up as another great concern to the oppositions who were non in the favour of Kalabagh Dam.

The aforesaid literature reappraisal has set a batch of things clear to us including the advantages and disadvantages of Kalabagh Dam. The Water and Power Development Authority has suggested that the entire land that will be submerged as a consequence of Kalabagh Dam is about 14,000 hectares ( Fulcher, 2006 ) . There were certain independent appraisals as good some of which went high up to a monolithic 74,000 hectares. The ulterior appraisals were all overdone and were meant for nil but propaganda against the proposed developmental undertakings. Even the first portion of the appraisal did non account for the land that will be inundated in instance of a river inundation happening. It even does non account for the land that will be taken up in instance the degree of the river rose.

The building of Kalabagh Dam has a figure of advantages apart from the few disadvantages excessively. There is no manner that we can disregard the disadvantages but we can surely look for ways to cut down the impact. There are advocated distributed all across the state apart from the oppositions. The major protagonism comes from the state of Punjab and from the technocrats of Khyber Pakhtoonkhuwah. They have a figure of claims to recommend that Kalabagh Dam is traveling to help the state acquiring rid of power and H2O deficit.

The best protagonism lies in the H2O deficit. As mentioned above, Pakistan is traveling towards a province where H2O scarceness is traveling to predominate and the possibility of one dike on the Indus River ( Iyer, 2006 ) comes up as the best justification that sets Kalabagh Dam an of import undertaking. It is non merely agribusiness that Kalabagh Dam is associated with but besides electricity. There has been a serious power deficit for old ages now and the most appropriate solution to the deficit is hydroelectric power that Pakistan has the potency of bring forthing at a really sensible monetary value. The fabrication sector of the state needs Kalabagh Dam for the power issue for a sustainable advancement of the state ( Khan, 2009 ) .

Mangla Dam, Tarbela Dam, Chashma Barrage were first-class undertakings that provided Pakistan with H2O for irrigation and power at the same topographic point but the siltation procedure has caused a batch of volume shortage. The deposit in the dike can non be dealt with until or unless an option is built and the best alternate possibly is Kalabagh Dam. Kalabagh Dam will come up as an add-on storage volume that will run into the H2O lack in the early Kharif period runing from the months of April-June. This has a critical value for the cotton harvest turning in Sindh. The Kalabagh Dam, on the whole will apportion H2O harmonizing to the WAA-1991 and will modulate high inundation hazards in the Indus river every bit good as bring forthing Hydro-Power to power the whole of Pakistan ( Khokhar, 2008 ) .

In times when Tarbela was non build, the one-year mean H2O flight was 38 Million Acre Feet below Kotri that rose to 64 subsequently on. With the building of Kalabagh Dam, this can be brought back to 32MAF ( Al-Khobar, 2011 ) . Another 26MAF out of this 32 can be easy controlled and utilized to convey the backward countries of Pakistan into usage by utilizing the national H2O resources development attack.

The primary energy beginning of Pakistan is oil and gas where the demand oil and gas in the state is estimated to be around 51 million metric tons of oil equivalent ( TOE ) ( The Nations, 2010 ) . Pakistan is bring forthing 34 million TOE yearly while the shortage is met through imports chiefly. As an option to this, the big graduated table hydropower incorporated with a multi-purpose storage can assist cut down the cost of electric supply within the range of a standard consumer.

The best portion of Kalabagh Dam is the add-on of 2400 MW of electric power to the National Grid in the early stage and finally lifting to 3600 MW installed power ( WAPDA ) . This will greatly cut down the burden casting issue that the state is confronting as of now with the industry and production traveling in serious debt.

A impersonal argument will acquire in a batch more so this into history and one can happen another set of advantages of Kalabagh Dam for the prosperity and unity of this state. The greatest of them is a decreased dependence on imported fuels that accounts for a immense amount of our foreign modesty. Kalabagh Dam can guarantee economic prosperity of Pakistan if the undertaking is handled with attention. It besides produces employment for 30,000 persons around the state during the building stage and there will be a batch more who will be employed after the undertaking is commissioned.

Construction monetary value is another concern for Government of Pakistan while the direct benefits from Kalabagh dike suggest that the dike will pay 25 billion per annum therefore accounting for the whole investing in 9-10 old ages ( Khokhar, 2008 ) . The energy generated at Kalabagh Dam is expected to be around 20 million barrels of oil yearly. This will assist cutting short the import budget every bit good as the transit and handling charges that are charged for treating the imported oil.

Apart from the economic point of position, the Kalabagh Dam Project has several societal benefits excessively out of which settling down of the grudge from Southern Punjab are the greatest of all. Kalabagh Dam is traveling to water major parts of Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar therefore a major grudge from the part will be settled down itself. In add-on, Punjab state does non claim any royalty on the coevals of resources from Kalabagh Dam, it is merely the lack of trust that does non allow this undertaking happen.


Pakistan is into a province where the lacks are at its extremums. Pakistan has long been known as an agricultural state and agribusiness is non possible without irrigation. The current state of affairs is traveling quickly towards H2O scarceness hence doing serious injury to the agricultural sector of Pakistan. In add-on to that, the electric power coevals beginnings have all been exhausted. Even Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam have moved into the last phases of their lives, the demand of Kalabagh Dam this minute is critical to run into the demands of both irrigation and power.

There are legion disadvantages of the building of Kalabagh Dam that has raised a serious resistance from other parts of the state chiefly from Khyber Pakhtoonkhuwah and Sindh Provinces. The overall resistance has been propagated so good that the common adult male life in these parts negotiations about the disadvantages of Kalabagh Dam and non about the advantages. This is non merely it: Punjab has long been known as the powerful ordering state that is another serious hinderance in the building of Kalabagh Dam.

Kalabagh Dam, one time constructed will render a figure of advantages to the state both socially and economically cutting short the power shortage that prevails in the state. I am sitting in dark this minute due to power deficit here in Pakistan and there is no solution that seems to be apart from building of hydroelectric power that is both inexpensive and convenient..

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