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Criticism, monsoon and dams

As Ramadan ended and Eid festivities began, a good part of our population was forced to flee their homes in an attempt to save themselves and their belongings from flood waters caused by monsoon rains.

As another monsoon season begins, floods become the norm across the country including large scale flooding in rural parts of Sindh and large scale flooding across Punjab including the provincial capital Lahore.

It gives rise to another reason for us as Pakistanis to resent the sitting government in hopes that they would either change the manner in which they govern Pakistan, spending large amounts of money on infrastructure providing ground reality solutions to preventing flooding or even moving aside to allow others to come and do the job.

The Punjab and Sindh governments both should be condemned for their inaction at this crucial time in Pakistan, we can expect ministers from both provincial and national governments to visit flood victims, wear a pair of wellington boots and stand and pose in the flood water for a picture before returning back to their fortresses while the 10s and 1000s of Pakistanis displaced by flooding either have to live in flooded villages or escape to highlands, further increasing the displaced population in Pakistan!

The irritating aspect to this is that the government feels that visits alone are sufficient responses to the large scale flooding facing Pakistan, after almost 8 years in government no major work has been done on dams or water ways to re locate standstill water!

We hear the continual chants from Pakistan People’s Party spokesman regarding the building of necessary dams namely the controversial Kala Bagh Dam. The dam for years has stirred controversy deemed to be a scam stealing resources from Sindh and giving them to Punjab (an illogical misconception). Yet all members of the party were quick to escape flood ridden Sindh to attend a party meeting in Dubai, an unnecessary meeting may I add, especially when the people of Pakistan are suffering. It’s horrendous to think the same party which once hailed “Roti Kapra and Makaan and later Marsu Marsu Sindh Ne Desu” are the party who felt that they have a god given right over Sindh!

Similarly as parts of Punjab become submerged under water, Nawaz Sharif, his family and cronies escaped to Saudi Arabia once again the bill being footed by the tax payer for attendance of a Sharif member’s wedding! It’s a huge insult to Venice as Pakistanis joke that Lahore has turned into Venice! Lahore is supposed to be the capital of the province, the cultural capital of Pakistan and the heart of Punjab yet now is only seen as a flooded city with residents limited to their houses until the waters clears!

A solution is needed and that may I add is not the need for a metro bus! The solution has to come in the form of an underground water way, allowing for an underground drainage system will clear the water away from the streets while at the same time channelling the water to necessary water fills or dams!

Similarly in Sindh the water needs to be channelled away from villages and then channelled into dams! The Kala Bagh dam as stated by Pervez Musharraf is the ideal solution to the current water problems Pakistan is facing. Weirdly enough, Pakistan in some areas is facing a water shortage! Yet we are easily wasting countless gallons of water every year which could be potentially put to use.

Highlighting the saying “Killing two birds with one stone!” cannot be more true than this point. Those who oppose the Kala Bagh Dam do not want the betterment of Pakistan’s future, instead they will much rather say “Marsu Marsu Sindh Na Desu.” The creation of the Kala Bagh Dam and other dams will mean that all the rain water can be channeled into the dams thus preventing large scale damage to homes, roads and crops, also the water can then be used to provide clean drinking water as well as providing cheap and economical electricity.

But such a suggestion can only be implemented if the government actually wanted a solution that the Pakistani awaam can utilize! Instead the need of the hour was the Rawalpindi – Islamabad metro bus which one critic described as “Aik bus ke liye poora shaher bay bus.” Whereas an alternative transport solution is necessary too, the infrastructure of water and electricity should take priority! Baring in mind the recent metro bus project cost nearly 35 billion, this is a huge amount of vital funds which could and should have been put to better use.

Many may label this piece as nothing but another person criticizing, but when the solution to a problem is so blatantly clear it makes criticism of inaction necessary! The Nawaz government has done nothing in 2 years to change the flood situation in Pakistan yet comes up with nothing but excuses! Similarly 5 years of the PPP government proved ineffective due to their inaction to prevent flood disasters. It is time that the awaam wakes up and rids Pakistan of inactive governments and elects a government that will actually perform for Pakistan.

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