Kalabagh Dam—A gold mine for Pakistan

Engr. Barkat Ali Luna’s book Launched,,
Pakistan Engineering Congress(PEC) held a book launching ceremony at PEC head office at Lahore. The event was well attended by leading professionals and engineers.

PEC President Engineer Ch. Ghulam Hussain spoke on the occasion and explained the importance of Kalabagh dam for the country. He also presented a detailed profile of Engr. Barkat Ali Luna.

Introduction of Engr. Barkat Ali Luna

Engr. Barkat Ali Luna is the founder Chairman of National Development Consultants and a renowned celebrity of Pakistan in the field of Water Resources Engineering. He graduated as a Civil Engineer in 1951 and later acquired a post graduate Diploma in Land Drainage from Holland. He started his career in the Central Designs Office of the Punjab Irrigation Department. Later in Pakistan he applied his experience on the designs of Chichoki Mallian Hydropower Project on the Upper Chenab Canal.

During his stay in the Irrigation Department, he worked on designs and research in all capacities utilizing his design and research experience on all projects of the Irrigation Departments of all the 4 provinces of Pakistan. In the field of Construction and Maintenance, he worked on many Important Projects of national importance where he contributed substantially. While in the Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA), he worked on the design & review of the gigantic Indus Basin Project that consisted of six Barrages, eight inter-river Link Canals and two large dams at Tarbela & Mangla.

In the year 1975 he opted to serve the Country as a Consultant with M/s Engineering & Technical Consultants where he applied his skills more fruitfully on the designs of Irrigation & Drainage Projects. Soon after, he joined as founder Chairman of his own Firm M/s National Development Consultants. He commenced his new assignment on the design of Kalabagh Dam Project where he enhanced his experience of dams with an International Consortium of M/s Harza Engg. Company (USA), Binnie and Partners (UK) & Preece, Cardew and Rider (UK).




It was discussed during the event that a Dispute Resolution Commission consisting of politicians, engineers and public figures of repute with some foreign experts should be established to develop consensus on construction of Kalabagh Dam in the country, as delay in its implementation has been hitting the national economy.

“With a view to reduce dependence on very costly thermal power, and saving foreign exchange, it is recommended that Kalabagh Dam Project be implemented without any further delay only as a power project”, observed Engineer Barkat Ali Luna, former consultant of World Bank.

At a launching ceremony of his book “Kalabagh Dam-a gold mine for Pakistan” the noted expert proposed the Kalabagh Dam can be constructed as a ‘run-of-river’ project which would generate 3600 MW of power and would not supply any water for irrigation to any province in view of lack of confidence among them.

Luna observed that the Kalabagh as a run-of-river project will maintain the present position of full outflows, below Kotri to Sea. This will give a boost to the economy of Pakistan and substantial relief to its people who have been hit hard by load-shedding of electricity continuing over the last 15 years, he added.

“It should be forcefully explained with facts and figures among the people in Sindh that Sindh will be the maximum gainer if the Kalabagh Dam is built and will be the worst sufferer if it is not,” he stated. He said that the real causes of opposition to the building of the Kalabagh Dam should be sorted out and their remedial measures be laid out to start implementation of the Project.

He said that many complicated issues in the World have been successfully resolved by conflict resolutions like the Camp David Accord etc. There is no reason that Kalabagh Dam issue may remain unresolved.

Luna further said that the Judicial Commission should consist of retired Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan & the High Courts of all the Provinces. “This Commission may hear all the concerned parties and sort out real issues from the non-issues. Under the present scenario, public at large is confused with the host of non-issues. Once this fog is cleared, the road map for construction of Kalabagh Dam will open up and the nation will be set on the path of progress so vital for the existence of Pakistan.”

As per 40 years record, after commissioning of Tarbela dam, more than 30 MAF of water is going to the sea below Kotri Barrage. At an accepted rate of two billion per MAF, Pakistan is dumping sixty billion Dollars into the sea per annum. This is an horrendous loss to the nation.

He said that WAPDA started investigations in 1977 and feasibility reports on Kalabagh dam were prepared twice. Work was completed in 1988.

The World Bank has indicated that Kalabagh Dam Project would generate a large amount of low cost hydro-electric power close to major load centres.