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Why rulers are ignoring cost-effective Akhori Dam, asks Altaf Shakoor

Karachi: Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor has asked why the rulers are ignoring the Akhori Dam, which is cost-effective and which could be built with less time.
In a statement here Sunday, he said if the government show seriousness and starts work on the Akhori dam, billions of dollars would be saved and the project will not take more than 3/4 years. He said the leading irrigation expert Dr Bashir Lakhai has made a strong case of this dam to tackle the water crisis, but why our government is not taking advantage of this opportunity. He asked will the red-tape bureaucracy let work on schemes that time and cost effective. He said why dam without canals is not supported by the King Makers. He said the rulers are ignoring the Akhori dam because it is relatively cheap which means less commissions and kickbacks for the corruption mafia.
Quoting Dr M. Bashir Lakhani, a MS and PhD in Irrigation and Water Resources from the University of Arizona, he asked why a 7 MAF live storage capacity and 600 MW hydropower Akhori Dam Project at the coast of just US$ 3billions is acceptable to our rulers.
He said the Akhori dam is a mega off-stream water storage project whose feasibility was completed in 2005 by WAPDA. The off stream storage is proposed to be constructed in Akhori, a village near Attock and Kamra. It is a 5-km long Earthfill dam on a local tributary of Indus river namely Nandna Kas river. This reservoir will work as a supplementary storage with Tarbela dam. The flood flows spilling from Tarbela spillway will be diverted to this reservoir through a 60,000 cusecs canal operating only during floods.
He said due to topographical constraints the water from this reservoir cannot be diverted to any canal and will be released back in Indus river during water shortage periods of Indus river. As there is no possibility of water diversion to any canal, no inter- provincial conflict will arise. Due to its location around settled areas, the construction can start on various components simultaneously to complete the works in less than 5 years. Further, due to off storage dam, it will not require additional time for river diversion which will be at least one year in case of Bhasha and Kalabagh dams. The estimated cost as per FS was 250 billion rupees which may be escalated to 350 billion rupees. The cost also includes 600-MW hydropower generation system. EPC type contract can be awarded for this project for which tender documents can be prepared in 4-6 months only.
Altaf Shakoor urged the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan to give a serious considerion to the Akhori Dam. He also appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar to include this crucial dam in his priority list so that the crippling water crisis could be averted and Pakistan could be made a grain basket for the whole region

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