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The present government needs to convince their parliamentarians to support construction of Kalabagh and other dams

As engineer he received President of Pakistan’s Gold Medal in Engineering in 1977 and has written 50 technical articles printed in national and international journals.

Dr. Amjad Parvez wears three caps at a time. He is engineer by profession, a musician and writer by passion. He inherited all these qualities from his family.

His father Sheikh Abdul Karim, was head of Chemistry Department, Islamia College, Lahore and his grandfather Khwaja Dil Muhammad, Principal, Islamia College, Lahore. He was also a national poet, who wrote poetry to arouse the feelings of the Muslims for the creation of Pakistan. His famous couplet speaks volumes about it like ‘Uth Baandh Qamer Kya Darta Hei/Phir Daikh Khuda Kaya Karta Hei’ (Get out of deep slumber and get ready, then see what Almighty God has in store for you). Thus he inherited love for education, poetry and music both from his paternal and maternal sides.

Educational background

Dr. Amjad Parvez holds BSc degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore in 1967, MSc in quality and reliability engineering (1969) and PhD in engineering production (1972) from the University of Birmingham, UK. He remained in UET’s faculty of mechanical engineering till 1975. When he was Associate Professor in 1975, he joined Nespak and worked there for 30 years despite many other jobs offered to him from abroad.

Achievements

As engineer he received President of Pakistan’s Gold Medal in Engineering in 1977 and has written 50 technical articles printed in national and international journals. He was conferred upon IEP Shield in May 2009 by the Institute of Engineers, Pakistan (IEP).

In Nespak he rose from the position of Principal Engineer to Chief Engineer and then General Manager and Vice-President of many Divisions before he became Managing Director Nespak (2004). He also worked as Managing Director Turkpak and ECO-CEC, Nespak subsidiaries with Turkey and Iran for seven years (1993-2000). He brought many IDB financed projects in Muslim countries such as Central Asian Republics and Africa.

Earlier for Nespak, he worked on many prestigious projects such as Tarbela Dam, Steel Mills, USAID studies for Planning Commission, Punjab Seed Corporation Projects and so on. During his stay in Saudi Arabia as General Manager Nespak (1986-1992), he acquired in open competition and implemented 20 projects for Saline Water Conversion Corporation, Ministries of Agriculture, Communications, Riyadh Municipality, SCECO, Tabouk Electricity Corporation and Jeddah Water Board, etc.

He held high positions such as Vice-President (Coordination, Power and Mechanical, Overseas and Monitoring & Control) in Nespak. He became Managing Director at a time when Nespak’s business was at its lowest ebb. He not only drew three times the ever highest business for Nespak in one year but also started paying salaries to the 3,000 plus employees on time. Millions of outstanding amounts were retrieved from clients such as Wapda and other government and private clients. Dr. Amjad opened overseas offices for Nespak in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and expanded business in UAE, Tehran and Muscat. His stay in Nespak is considered as golden era in engineering/consulting profession.

After reaching the age of superannuation, he joined Associated Group as Advisor Power projects before he attached with the UET’s newly established department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering where apart from teaching, he provides research guidance to graduate and post-graduate students.

He is currently the Managing Director of Engineering Services UET Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, a newly established engineering and consulting company to make use of the multi-disciplinary talent of UET Faculties.

Jahangir’s World Times asked Dr. Amjad Parvez some questions. The response is as hereunder.

Q. How do you manage so many activities at a time?

Dr. Amjad: My grandfather was educationist, a poet par excellence at the same time. His books on poetry and mathematics were read by both Muslims and Hindus before the creation of Pakistan. He wrote Dil’s Algebra, Dil’s Arithmetics and at the same time wrote ‘Bostan-i-Dil, ‘Rubaiyaat-i-Dil’, ‘Dil Ki Bahar’ ‘Urdu translations of Sura-i-Fateha and Bhagwat Geeta’ etc.

As a child I have seen him dividing and managing his time to all his activities. I do the same. I teach, guide my students on their research projects, take a walk, give time to my family and friends, write my weekly columns on computer and do my riaz of music every day.

As engineer he received President of Pakistan’s Gold Medal in Engineering in 1977 and has written 50 technical articles printed in national and international journals. He was conferred upon IEP Shield in May 2009
 
Q. What types of columns do you write?
Dr. Amjad: I have been reading and writing book reviews on weekly basis. These were published in the local dailies of Lahore since 1980s. Reading is an absorbing vocation for me, something I inherited from my family and literary-cum-educational atmosphere prevalent in my house. I hope it continues till the day I am alive.My aim is to make our English-speaking readers, especially the younger generation to know of what quality literature emanates from our part of the world in Urdu, English and local languages. This effort might entice them to buy some of these books for detailed reading. My first book titled ‘Symphonies of Reflections’ contained book reviews pertained to the books printed during 1999-2006. My second book titled ‘Rainbow of Reflections’ cover 2006-2010 period.

Q. What are your impressions about the quality of education at UET?

Dr. Amjad: I am quite hopeful about the future of the students graduating from UET, Lahore, because the classes are taken on time and on regular basis. The courses are covered adequately by competent professors and other members of the respective faculties. The ratio of girl students in engineering is very encouraging.

In each of my one hour lecture, I spend five to 10 minutes in motivating my students to be patriotic and serve Pakistan after their graduation with honesty. The rest of the time is spent on imparting technical education. The results are very encouraging. I find students keen learners with good IQ level.

Q. What are your contributions in engineering?

Dr. Amjad: I have worked diligently to acquire many projects from abroad while in Nespak. Though I have acquired and coordinate umpteen projects in Pakistan and abroad but as a specimen I shall list only the ones in Saudi Arabia when I was GM there from 1986 to 1992. These are Design and Supervision of Jubail-Qateef Water Transmission System for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision of Nauriya.-KhafJi Water Transmission System for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (S WCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision of Al-Azizia Desalination Plant to King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision of Crude Oil Pipeline, Eastern Province for Same Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision of Al-Azizia Blending Station, Eastern Province for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision for Water Supply Pipeline to Ras-al-Ghar for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) Riyadh, Design and Supervision for Al-Khobar-AlHufuf Water Transmission System, Eastern Province for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Design and Supervision Qaseem-Hail, Central Province, for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Riyadh, Supervision for Makkah Transmission Line and Substations Project for Electricity Corporation, Jeddah, Scada and Telecommunication System Design Review and Supervision! Installation for Tabuk Electricity Corporation, Dammam Waste-Water Reuse Project for Ministry of Agriculture and Water, Design and Supervision of Pension Agency Building in Riyadh for Pension Fund, Riyadh Supervision works of Riyadh Sewerage Treatment Plant for Riyadh Region Water and Sewerage Department, Urban Planning Studies for Royal Commission for Jubail, for royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Computer Studies for Saudi Royal Base, Dhahran for Saudi Royal Air Base, Housing Sample Survey in the six main cities of the Kingdom for Ministry of Housing and Works, Saudi Arabia.

Q: What are the ways of coming out of energy crisis in our country?

Dr. Amjad: The answer is development of hydel resources. The present government needs to convince their parliamentarians to support construction of Kalabagh and other dams. Of course let Bhasha dam be built, let Akhori and Dhasu Dams be constructed, let expeditors exploration of energy development from coal and other resources like wind and solar be emphasised upon but the immediate answer lay in Kalabagh Dam.

I shall give you excerpts of my technical opinion on this dam.

History:

Kalabagh Dam Project was planned on the Indus River at about 92 miles downstream of the confluence of the Kabul and the Indus Rivers that is 120 miles downstream of the Tarbela dam. The project was initiated in 1953 and the preliminary feasibility study was completed in 1956.

The project was modified in 1966 on the recommendations of experts and a new feasibility study was proposed in 1972. A synthesis of the previous studies comprising eight volumes of documentation was completed in 1975. After reviewing the documentation the government WAPDA, World Bank (IBRD) and UNDP commissioned the services of a joint venture of international and local consultants for carrying out further studies of the project.

This joint venture reviewed previous studies and carried out project planning and detailed design. The joint venture subsequently completed bidding documents in 1985. After reviewing the detailed design of the project WAPDA directed the joint venture to lower the maximum operating level of the reservoir from 925 feet to 915 feet.

This reduction in the maximum operating level was meant to rule out any adverse impact on the Kabul River Valley. The joint venture completed the last assignment in 1987 when formal site investigations, model simulations and desk studies, etc of the project spread over 34 years came to an end.

Subsequently WAPDA kept important parts of documents up-to-date but the project unfortunately remains dormant for the last 22 years.

Design

The design of the Kalabagh Dam envisaged creating a water reservoir of 6.1 million acres feet (MAF) of usable storage. The initial hydropower output of the project would be 2400 megawatt (MW) which would be ultimately increased to 3600MW. The project would generate over 11,200 to 16,000 million kilowatt hour (kWh) environment-friendly, renewable, cheap and inflation proof electricity per year.

The total estimated cost of civil, electrical, mechanical works and the auxiliaries assessed by the consultants in 1987 was $5.153 billion which included the interest during construction, customs duties, taxes and price contingencies. The cost has to be naturally revised now if the tenders are to be awarded.

Benefits

Some of the unique benefits of the Kalabagh Dam are:

  • It would generate cheaper and more reliable electricity than any other hydropower project because of its location near the load centres which would reduce the transmission losses and enhance the reliability of power supply.
  • The water from the Kalabagh reservoir will be released into the Indus River only and it will improve the reliability of irrigation supplies to all downstream works up to Kotri Barrage.
  • The design of Kalabagh Dam was reviewed and approved by a Pakistani and an international panel of eminent experts and it is considered very safe and reliable design.
  • Kalabagh is designed to sluice out the annual sediment inflow; therefore the project would be the ‘first sustainable reservoir’ and hydropower project of Pakistan.
  • The sluicing of sediment from Kalabagh will also ensure that adequate quantity of water is released downstream of the Kotri Barrage to carry away the sediment into the sea.
  • Kalabagh would mitigate the damages caused by floods to the life and property downstream of the Kalabagh Dam.
  • Kalabagh is the only large hydropower project that is the nearest source of cheap hydro electricity for Sindh and Baluchistan.

Kalabagh Dam would generate cheaper and more reliable electricity than any other hydropower project because of its location near the load centres which would reduce the transmission losses and enhance the reliability of power supply.

Need for consensus
In spite of the benefits of Kalabagh Dam its construction is opposed by three out of four provinces. Each opposing province claims that its construction would hurt its interests, a claim that needs to be responded to. During the past two decades many efforts were made to reconcile the views of opponents and supporters of the dam but these remained mostly unsuccessful. Obviously the dam can be constructed only if there is a consensus among all provinces on its construction and the consensus can be achieved only by giving due consideration to objections of the opponents of the dam. These are submitted below.Points for consensus

Following three points are suggested for achieving the national consensus on the construction of Kalabagh Dam:

  1. After the construction of Kalabagh Dam, outflows downstream of the Jinnah Barrage should not be less than the post-Tarbela historical outflows.
  2. Initially the full reservoir operating level should be kept at 900 to 905 feet level and it will be gradually raised to 915 feet level, after fully ensuring that the back water does not affect upstream areas during flood in Kabul and Indus rivers.
  3. An agreed percentage of the admissible hydropower royalty will be set aside as a common fund that will be used to rectify any negative impact of the construction and operation of the Kalabagh Dam.
Conclusion
It is hence proposed to the decision makers to bring the above issue in the Parliament keeping in mind the above suggestions to reach at a consensus and go ahead with the construction of this dam, the designs and tender documents, which are ready years ago. It shall reduce the problems of the masses and the regime that takes this important decision shall be remembered in history as savior of the country.Needless to say the government had constituted a technical committee on water resources (TCRWR) to chalk down a plan to meet our optimal needs for irrigation, production of food and cash crops. Its recommendations were that Kalabagh and Bhasha Dams should be constructed simultaneously.

The committee had expressed the hope that by the time Kalabagh Dam construction was to be completed, the designs of Bhasha Dam would have been completed along with Karakorum Highway approach improved. Such an action even if taken now, would create 30 plus MAF capacity. This committee had also recommended that it was in Pakistan’s interest to plan and integrates system for the three western rivers as a single basin river concept to obtain benefits of river water reservoirs.

 

By: Dr Amjad Parvez Sheikh

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