Focusing on an obsolete approach of energy generation

By Maria Soomro

Now a days , many so called experts have been laying stress on the building of dams as the solution to energy crisis.The stress has been seemingly laid on building Kalabag dam in order to generate more energy and increase agricultural productivity. Reality is different.The best experts in the science of Hydrology consider Building dams an obsolete approach towards controlling floods, energy generation and enhancing agricultural productivity.

Further, This is time of decommissioning of dams rather than building the new dams. Even USA has started decommissioning various dams into its various parts.

In this backdrop, demand for Kalabag dam seems a totally flawed approach. Pakistan is in fact crisis of management rather than availability of energy resources and water. In this regard, Writer Hassan Abbass can be bestly quoted who has written in an article published in DAWN. He writes ” Approximately 95 per cent is directed to agriculture of which over 70 per cent goes waste”. Therefore, rather than building new controversial dams which could further weak federation, Why not water management is put on the agenda.

very like lack of water management, energy crisis is also cause of lack of better, efficient and effective use of energy and its resources. Repeatedly quoted the International Energy Agency’s “Statistics for Pakistan for 2005” shows that distribution losses were 25%.

Recalling the impacts of dames, Damming of rivers brings very awful impacts on human, environment, deltas, wetlands, bio diversity and ecology. Forty to eighty million people have been so far displaced by dams.

Fifty thousand large dams now obstruct most big river systems.South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People has given in a research that globally, over half of the 292 large river systems are affected by dams.

Interestingly , rather than controlling floods, dams increase the risk factor of the floods. Matt McGrath Environment correspondent of BBC News has quoted Dr Pablo Garcia-Chevesich from the University of Arizona that ” If you install a water reservoir that will change things totally and that will lead to flooding.

The impact of more dams and diversions Indus dam will also be disastrous for Indus delta and its ecology which has been already experiencing environmental, social and ecological issues due to low water flow into downstream.

Therefore, rather than constructing Kalabag dam, other alternatives such as geothermal sources, Bio gas plants, windmills, and solar plants could be focused.

While making comparative cost analysis , Hassan Abbass, in same article has concluded in the favor of solar plant rather than hydro plants ” So what is better — $10bn for 10GW in two years [Through Solar Plants ] or $10bn for 5GW [through Hydro plants ] after 15 years plus the huge social and environmental impact?

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