Published Date: Jun 14, 2011
MIRANI DAM PROVEN MEGA DISASTER FOR BALOCHISTAN
Baloch nationalist leader Senator Dr Abdul Malik said on Monday that the mega project of Balochistan’s Mirani Dam proved a “mega-disaster” as all the government assessments and forecasts about its benefits for the local population proved drastically wrong.
Senator Malik, President of National Party, was speaking at a seminar titled: “Mirani Dam: development or disaster,” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The speakers demanded an early compensation for the 2007 Mirani Dam flood-affected population besides a post-project evaluation report consisting of technical, financial, social and environmental third-party audit.
Dr Malik said he supports the development of dams in Balochistan because a plenty of rainwater goes waste every year, which can be stored for cultivable areas in the province.
He said that the local people had strong reservations about the design, assessment reports and claims of the Musharraf government that this dam would cultivate over 32,000 acres land, but it was just irrigating 3-4 thousands acres.
The swathes of land between Turbat and Pasni have become uncultivable due to this dam. He said there was evidence of corruption in construction of this dam.
He urged early recovery and compensation for the Mirani dam flood-affected persons of the three Union Councils who were living under open skies without any basic facilities in post-flood situation despite passage of four years.
Arshad H. Abbasi, advisor water and power at SDPI, while presiding over the proceedings, said the Mirani dam was a classic example of design failure, as the upstream population was affected due to floods and backwater flow from Mirani dam in 2007.
He said that no Commission or settlement plan has been announced by the government despite heavy damages to local population and passage of four years.
Sharif Shamazai, associate at the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP), Quetta gave detailed briefing on Mirani dam, its primary objectives, concerns and reservations of local community during construction, design failure and damages it had caused to local community.
He urged government to immediately provide compensation to the affected people.
A local affectee, Wahid Bux Baloch, said that the local population had raised their severe concerns about the faulty design and height of this dam during NESPAK’s survey and consultative process.