Chasing the shadow
Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government has demanded payment of Rs.180 billion compensation on account of usage of province’s share of water allotted to it under Water Apportionment Accord of 1991. A letter has been sent to Council of Common Interest and the Chief Minister will constitute a parliamentary Jirga The province could have utilised its full share of water had successive elected governments not pursued skewed priorities and persuaded the federal governments to extend financial assistance and acquisition of multilateral donor agencies’ loans for the execution of projects including Chisma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) and Kurram Tangi Dam. Sovereign guarantee was obtained for the Asian Development Bank in in 2015 for a road project and not for any mega water project.
Former Chairman WAPDA Engineer Shamsul Mulk has repeatedly allayed the misgivings about Kalabagh dam and stressed the point that if it is not built Khyber Pukhtunkhwa will not get water from Indus River for one million acres of agriculture land in the southern districts. Initially, ANP leadership opposed the construction of Kalabagh dam, but later leaders of PPP and other political parties started opposing it, merely for political reasons. The previous and present provincial governments have not been able to get hydel profit arrears. Hence the demand of compensation on account of water share of the province is nothing but chasing a shadow. It was the failures of successive provincial governments to implement water projects for which feasibility studies had been prepared long ago in the government of President Musharraf.