KALABAGH DAM - A PROJECT OF HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR PAKISTAN
Kalabagh Dam Project was designed in 1984, with the assistance of the United Nations Development Program; supervised by the World Bank, for the client Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan. Following the submission of its Project Planning Report it was put up to the Federal and Provincial Governments for approval of the launching of this gigantic project. In the meantime, the project team were asked to complete the Detailed Designs and Contract Documents for making it ready to enter into the implementation stage This task was completed in another two and half years and the project was poised for start of construction in mid 1987.
It was estimated to cost US$ 3.46 Billion at June 1987 level and was scheduled to be completed in 6 years, with first generating unit to be commissioned in April 1993. But unfortunately, this programme could not be materialized due to opposition from some Provincial Governments, mainly on political grounds. In spite of a widespread realization of the urgency of this project, among vast majority of professional sectors of engineers, economists, agriculturists, industrialists and the intelligentsia, a political consensus could not be achieved for constructing Kalabagh Dam. Repeated efforts were made by various successive governments but the, so called, consensus has proved to be too elusive, for one reason or another.
As a result of this delay of 12 long years in the implementation of this project our dear country has suffered immensely in the agriculture and the energy sectors, directly and in industrial and manpower sectors indirectly. All these negative effects have, no doubt, contributed in a big way to the alarming situation faced by the national economy, which we are witnessing now.