November 25, 2018
By Saeed Qureshi
The people of Pakistan ought to be grateful to the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan, Honorable Mian Saqib Nisar on his historic mission of raising funds in UK and USA for building dams that are indispensable for both the people and crops. He has proven to be a true and patriotic son of the soil and a thoroughly honest dispenser of justice. In Manchester’s (UK) gathering the honorable chief justice expressed his views on the rapid and huge collection of the funds for the much needed Bhasha and Diamir dams in these words, “all Pakistanis were taking the lead in contributing funds for construction of dams and he only witnessed this passion during the 1965 War.”
We are aware that the primary responsibility and mandate of the incumbent Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is to dispense legal justice to the aggrieved. However, his latest undertaking and mission focused on raising funds for building the stalled “Dam Diamir Bhasha and Mohmand Dam” is sublime. He announced that several dams would-be built-in Pakistan to overcome the scarcity of water for both drinking and agricultural purposes.
He emphatically pledged that no one can stop the national objective of attaining prosperity and overcoming the water scarcity all over Pakistan. Is pledge would go down in the history of Pakistan as momentous in nation building.
Diamir Bhasha and Mohmand Dam is essential for agricultural output, household use and drinking for the people of Pakistan. This project has been stalled and remained on the tenterhooks for a variety of reasons one of which is the lack and non-availability of huge funds.
The countrywide contribution to the fund stood at Rs 7.09 billion while the remaining Rs 880.23 million were contributed by the expatriate Pakistanis, according to an update issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). In due course more, funds and donations would be coming in. This money has been transferred to the Dam’s fund. The pouring of donations indeed is a show of trust in the person of the chief justice and his absolute honesty and personal integrity.
It surmises that any other person of significance both morally and financially uprightness would not have achieved such a brilliant milestone as the chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar has done. This hallmark is also blissful and a feather in the cap of the PTI government more so for the prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan.
Imran Khans’ deadline of hundred days for unfurling an agenda of reconstructing Pakistan is about to expire. One can feel that the gigantic undertaking of Imran Khan could have been looked upon as an unachievable goal if the illustrious chief justice would not have jumped into fray with a mission of the same nature.
The redeeming feature of the ongoing sublime mission is that the funds collected by the incumbent government through Chief Justice honorable Mian Saqib Nisar would be sufficient to convince the international donors and loan giving agencies such as IMF to open their coffers as well to Pakistan and dole out credits on agreeable terms and interest for Pakistan. Per say if that doesn’t happen the chief justice and other patriotic stalwarts may again jump into the fray and fulfil the monumental cost through loans from the friendly countries as well as from the contributions of the people of Pakistan living both within Pakistan and in foreign countries.
One can admire the bubbling spirit of patriotism and enormous national aspiration and sacrifice of the Pakistanis domestically and living abroad. The only thing that is needed is for them to be convinced that the cause for such donation of money was nation-building, prosperity and progress of the people and advancement of the country.
In the past such fund raising and collection of funds for various causes were mounted but ultimately those were left halfway or entirely abandoned as the money was gobbled or miscarried to the other projects or simply pocked by the collectors.
The water level for both agricultural and human consumption is dwindling and receding to the level 400 ft to 1500 in various lands mostly prominently in Quetta the capital of Balochistan. It has reached the lowest level causing draught for the crops as well as scarcity for the human consumption.
After Quaid e Azam, here is another leader though non-political who has undertaken with courage, dedication and conviction, a national cause so essential and indispensable for the prosperity and economic viability of the country. Hopefully after his retirement Chief Justice Honorable Mian Saqib Nisar would keep serving as the head of a new political party to be in power and thus to bring Pakistan in the comity of advanced and developed nations.
What is Diamer-Bhasha Dam
Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a concrete-filled gravity dam, in the preliminary stages of construction, on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. Its foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan on 18 October 2011. Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be the highest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world. The dam site is situated near a place called "Bhasha" in Gilgit-Baltistan's Diamer District, hence the name.
Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would (i) produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity through environmentally clean hydropower generation; (ii) store an extra 8,500,000 acre feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation and drinking; (iii) extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years; and (iv) control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods.
However, in response to using Basha Dam to sideline the Kalabagh Dam, Engineer Anwar Khurshid has stated that "Bhasha dam is no substitute for Kalabagh dam not because of its altitude which is high enough, but because no irrigation canals can be taken out from it because of the hilly terrain. No canals can be taken out from any dam on the Indus except from Kalabagh Dam.
It will have a height of 272 meters spillway with fourteen gates each 11.5 m x 16.24 m. The gross capacity of the reservoir will be 8,100,000-acre feet (10.0 km3), with a live storage of 6,400,000-acre feet (7.9 km3). Two underground powerhouses are being proposed, one on each side of the main dam having six turbines on each side with a total installed capacity of 4500 MW. (Wikipedia)