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Govt asked to initiate serious efforts to resolve energy crisis

Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday emphasised the government to initiate serious efforts on all fronts to resolve energy crisis including Iran gas pipeline project and Kalabagh Dam in order to take full advantage of GSP plus facility.

“Government needs to initiate serious efforts on all fronts so that long-delayed Iran gas pipeline project and Kalabagh Dam (KBD) could be constructed otherwise energy security in Pakistan will remain a pipedream”, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI while addressing a business community here. He added that Pakistan is the only country where power plants are being run on natural gas despite its deficiency.

He further said that Pakistan’s future is tied to Iranian gas and Kalabagh Dam (KBD) but many intellectuals and politicians have not realised it yet which is unfortunate. “We should stop digging own grave before it is too late,” he warned. Politicians have decided to remain undecided on critical issues of national importance, which is leading us nowhere, he maintained.

Construction of KBD will not hurt any province but delay can help transform Pakistan into a desert, he said adding that Tarbela dam will complete its life in sixteen years when there would be no natural gas in the country. The storage capacity of the biggest source of hydel power generation in the country has reduced to 6.77 million-acre feet, which make it necessary to urgently construct KBD, which will have 450 years of life.

He said that political disagreement on the KBD is a great threat to industry, agriculture, masses and future of the country. Malik said that after completion of Tarbela, province of Sindh start getting 7 million-acre feet additional water while after KBD completion it will get extra 2.2 million-acre feet of water while it would trigger a green revolution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and save it from devastation of floods. The FPCCI chief said that dams are not tools of destruction, as considered by many, otherwise China, Iran, India and other countries would have not been constructing hundreds of dams and reservoirs with an amazing pace. In the last 23 years the share of water for every Pakistan has come down by 80 per cent therefore time has come for stakeholders to shun differences for the sake of country or be prepared for insoluble problems in the near future, warned Zubair Ahmed Malik.

Unlike, Iran pipeline, no country or international institution is against the KBD, he said. He added that Musharraf took the decision to use clean fuel for producing electricity, which must be reversed immediately, and power plants should be converted on coal or furnace oil.

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