$40 Million Were Raised For The Diamer-Bhasha Dam While $63 Million Were Spent On Its Advertising
In the beginning of the previous administration the storage of water and the construction of dams were hot topics . officials from all departments told us that Diamer-Bhasha was supposed to resolve all the problems in Pakistan. Its “mega dam” is now turning out to be a public scandal which has attracted the attention of the entire population of Pakistan and even the people who were not supporters of Imran Khan believed that it was an excellent move for the improvement and security of Pakistan.
According to the Pakistani Parliamentary Issues Council (PAC) it was reported that approximately $39 billion or million was committed to the construction of the dam, but the sum of Rs 14 billion, (or $63 million) was spent on advertising the dam. The administration of Pakistan has summoned the judge who resigned to the parliament after he promised that the promotion for the proposed swarm-subsidized dam was far more than the money that was raised for it.
The initiative was announced through the chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar who was appointed to the position after the new government took office. The project was later approved by the government as well as the Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only one to join the the dam’s fundraising program. added that future floods could be prevented if we can be able to raise enough funds to construct the dam.
The Diamer-Bhasha Dam was initially planned in the early 80s but its location, environmental impacts and the cost, it led to endless delays, and ongoing political and political instability did not allow anyone to be concerned regarding the dam. Saqib Nisar made fundraising for the dam the central aspect of his activism as a judge initiatives. He created an account to collect donations and claimed that regular Pakistanis will contribute the billions of dollars required for the construction of the dam. He was correct in that, based on the per average income in Pakistan the people were successful in raising funds, and it was clear that Pakistanis could not ever be capable of generating an amount of $14 billion to build the dam. All employees of the sectors, both private and public, have given up a portion of their wages to fund this dam’s fund. The army renounced part of the salary of soldiers to fund the fund with Rs 1 billion. other employees of the state also received contributions taken out of their wages. The cricket team of Pakistan as well as the top stars in Pakistan also contributed. then , the Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed joint leadership of the fund.
Many experts in the field were confused by Saqib’s campaign to raise money and thought it strange that instead of resolving the cases before him , he’s doing something that isn’t his responsibility at all. A lawyer for the environment, Rafay Alam pointed out that there is an absence of precedent that would allow a current chief justice to launch an initiative to raise funds for the public that is just as useless such as that of the dam. Khurram Husain who is an economics journalist as well as editor for Profit magazine, said that
” Nisar was able to turn the dam fund an important exercise, primarily by connecting other cases that he was listening to with the dam fund.”
After a long period of advertisements for the campaign, which was estimated to cost $63 million in February of 2019, it was clear that the money was not close to being sufficient to build the dam. The gap of 1.5 trillion, or $6.3 billion in the gap between the funds collected and the amount that was needed. Following the catastrophic loss of the campaign Saqib Nishar claimed that
“We didn’t think that this amount could be enough to finish the project. We wanted to raise awareness and let people know how crucial it is .”
While Pakistan is home to one of the biggest irrigation systems around the globe however, a report from 2021 warned that Pakistan could be experiencing “water shortage” by 2025 should Pakistan isn’t taking the necessary measures. A struggling economy that has huge populations that face frequent power outages, as well as the issue of water scarcity, dams have for a long time been considered an answer to all problems by Pakistan’s policymakers.
Nisar received a hefty criticism and apathy towards the fund, however, the obsession of Pakistan with dams isn’t gone completely. Pakistan has a It is the Tarbela Dam on the river Indus is the biggest Earth-filled dam on the planet. It is the second largest in terms of the volume of its structure that is the equivalent of 106 million cubic meters.
The management must understand that building more dams is not going to fix the flooding issue in Pakistan but a better irrigation system and the distribution of water to the ocean with enough rivers, lakes, and breach to be used is the only way to address the water shortage as well as the flood issue.