Talking to newsmen here, Founders Group Chairman Ijaz Butt and senior leader Mian Muhammad Ashraf said the water and power shortage issue was worsening with each passing day coupled with increasing population, which could pose food security challenge.
They said Pakistan direly needed cheap electricity to run industries and sufficient water for agriculture sector. Around nine million hectors of fertile land in the country could not be used because of water scarcity.
The country also required to grow more to feed its increasing population and the only solution was to build big water reservoirs, they added.
Ijaz Butt said,"Kalabagh Dam will initially produce 3500 MW electricity at less than Rs 2 per unit, and benefit the national economy by around $14 billion annually, the amount which is enough to construct more dams, give education to millions of children, provide best health facilities to the masses, to generate millions of jobs, develop rural areas and reduce poverty."
He said Pakistan could not afford wastage of huge amount of water falling into the sea. Therefore, work should be started on the KBD forthwith, he stressed.
He viewed that the Kalabagh Dam was the most feasible project for national economy that could be completed within five years. The dam was not only beneficial for Punjab but would also prove instrumental in erasing poverty from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it would irrigate 800,000 acres of cultivable land located 100-150 feet above the River Indus level in the province.