Earlier controversial, now world famous Pakistan’s “Diamer Bhasha Dam” is again infamously making to the headlines globally. “Crowdfunding a joke in Pakistan“, “A Beggar Forever“, “Damn Oh Dam“, “Diamer – A Dry Can” are just a few jibes floating on social media.
Given the project’s history, it is beset by several controversies due to an array of complications. Within Pakistan, the project is politically contentious and considered ecologically perilous, given its location in a high seismic zone.
The recent controversy over collecting donations for constructing dams #DamsFund had not even sunk in when another controversy has again plagued it.
Adding fuel to fire, Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah very sheepishly has expressed his disapproval for the dam, citing location issues and highlighting the acute shortage of availability of water in the area.
Murad said that the Bhasha Dam was located in the seismic area and water in the system was not available to such an extent that the dam could be filled. Elaborating on the availability of water in the system, he said that last year, instead of 10, only 7.5 MAF water was released to downstream Kotri.
“As a matter of fact, 25 MAF water is required, otherwise the sea would keep encroaching further upon the nearby villages,” he said, and added that in the last 10 years, water releases to downstream Kotri show that for six years, it was less than 10 MAF and then went down further between two to four MAF.
Murad further said that the record of water releases was available with the provincial government from 1922 to date. “If anybody wants to verify the figures, he is welcome to do so,” he said and added that the availability of water in the system was a big issue.