Monday, March 12, 2012

377 Obesity spreading in China "wherever there are fast food restaurants"

Obesity spreading in China "wherever there are fast food restaurants"

(1) Obesity spreading in China "wherever there are fast food restaurants"
(2) China moving to high-value-added. Move to cities -> 170 cities of 1 million cf 35 in Europe
(3) Train kills seven elephants protecting calves on railway track in India
(4) Devadasi girls: temple prostitutes in south India
(5) India prudish yet permissive - explicit sex in temple statues, but not in Bollywood
(6) Mohenjo-daro safe from rampaging floods caused by raging Indus River
(7) Flood-Ravaged Pakistan needs dams to catch monsoon rain & store for dry season

(1) Obesity spreading in China "wherever there are fast food restaurants"
http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/fat-becoming-more-than-a-last-name-in-china-as-obesity-rate-increases/19539191

Fat Becoming More Than a Name in China

July 6, 2010

David Moye

(July 6) -- As the Chinese economy beefs up, so are its citizens ... to the point where "Fat" is no longer just a popular name, but also the description for 100 million Chinese citizens.

That number is small compared to China's 1.5 billion population, but experts fear the number of obese citizens could double in 10 years.

What is the reason for all the super-sizing? According to Los Angeles-based bariatric surgeon Dr. Carson Liu, it's a case of East meets West.

"Obesity is definitely associated with economic wealth," said Liu in an e-mail interview with AOL News. "We saw [increased obesity] first in Hong Kong, and it will definitely continue in Shanghai and Beijing. Obesity rates are high wherever there are fast food restaurants."

Liu, who hails from China, says that the blooming economy means higher wages and more interaction with American-style restaurants that are popping up to take advantage of the newly discovered yearning for fast food.

"They've become more in tune with the American diet, and as a result, they'll end up suffering from more obesity," Liu predicted. "They want KFC, McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc."

But American-style fast food isn't entirely to blame. Liu says Chinese citizens may have to decide whether their national dish, rice, really has a place in their daily diet.

"If you're just eating rice and you're a vegetarian, it's fine," he said. "However, if you're eating rice with other processed foods, it can be the equivalent of breads, carbs and starch."

But not every dietary expert thinks rice is the problem. Registered dietician Manuel Villacorta says rice is very healthy, depending on how it's consumed.

"There is no other crop that has fed more people over a longer period of time," Villacorta said by e-mail. "Rice in smaller portions when eaten with a balanced meal is an energy-boosting essential food. In traditional diets, rice is eaten in combination with many other dishes, making it a side dish, not the main dish."

Villacorta also says no other food can capture the essence of moderation like rice.

"Ponder this, if rice has fed the world longer and more abundantly than any other crop, why is it only recently that it has been linked to obesity and diabetes?" he asked. "It all lies within the portions. Filling an entire dinner plate with rice for two meals per day is not the way it was traditionally eaten."

Liu predicts that the obesity problems plaguing American citizens are surely going to occur in China, and points to his own brother, who is obese, in part, because of his adherence to the highly processed Western diet.

As the quality of life improves in China, they'll experience what we experience in terms of obesity," he said. "Obesity is related to the number of calories, amount of carbs and starch in one's diet and a lack of exercise. The Chinese will become more industrialized, which makes them more sedentary, which leads to obesity."

Meanwhile, British economist Paul French, who is soon to publish a book on China's rapid weight gain, tells Fox News that China's one-child policy, not rice or Big Macs, may explain why many Chinese citizens may soon have more chins than a Chinese phone book.

"One child has mom, dad and two sets of grandparents," French said. "It's what we call the six-pocket syndrome. All of that money is being lavished on one little emperor to whom nobody can say no. And it's leading to a rising rate of obesity amongst children."

(2) China moving to high-value-added. Move to cities -> 170 cities of 1 million cf 35 in Europe

From: John Craig <cpds45@bigpond.com> Date: 25.09.2010 05:50 PM

Chindia - you ain't seen nuthin' yet

http://www.smh.com.au/business/chindia--you-aint-seen-nuthin-yet-20100923-15o2v.html

September 23, 2010

Even if you think you know the “Chindia” story, odds are you don't really know the Chindia story. And if you're still caught up in China “housing bubble” and US-consumer-dependency yarns, you're blinded by Western conceit and actually don't have a clue.

To put it simply in Bachman Turner Overdrive's 1974 words, baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet.

That's been rammed home by four serendipitous speeches and papers in the past week, each reinforcing the other. They started with an article on Indian economic change in the RBA Bulletin, expanded by RBA assistant governor Philip Lowe's NatStats paper on the development of Asia and was rounded off last night at an Investec clients briefing with speeches by visiting Investec Asset Management strategist Michael Power and BHP's former China senior executive, Clinton Dines.

Combine those four and what emerges very clearly is that this week's or month's or year's passing concerns about whether China is growing at 8 or 11 per cent are irrelevant. As Dr Power frames it, China is just finishing its labour-intensive growth phase and starting its capital-intensive phase while India is about to enter labour-intensive growth. Never mind the boom that's already occurred, look to what is coming.

Spare me the usual myopic line born of American xenophobia and ignorance about China being dependent on exports to the USA. There is neither time nor space here to go into the detail of these four presentations, but Dines quickly dispatches such nonsense, pointing out that net exports' contribution to China's growth over the past decade has averaged just 1.5 per cent. And the United States' share of China's exports is 20 per cent so the much ballyhooed American consumer is only good for 0.3 per cent of China's GDP growth - growth that runs along in double digits or close to it even in the Great Recession.

That's only part of it. The stuff China exports to the US is mainly low value-added – clothing, toys, electronic gadgets. About half of China's exports now go to the developing world and that half has higher value-added content – power stations, mining machinery and the like.

Dines, an old China hand at just 53 thanks to starting in 1978, professes dismay at the West's conceit in its dealings with China. We just don't get it, don't understand how fundamentally the game has changed, how little China needs of us.

The real export story echoes a Power point (I know, it's a cheap line, but I couldn't resist it) that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been visiting Beijing to investigate buying high-speed trains for California.

Even the low-value export story to the west is changing, but the domestic demand story is so very much bigger. Michael Power is a seasoned performer on the economic big picture stage – he could pass for Michael Gambon's younger brother with the actor's talent for phrasing – and tells the story well with the pertinent illustrations.

An example of his examples: if you've been half tuned-in to the state of the world, you'd know that more cars are sold in China now than the US. That's already history. The insight that's worth thinking about is that car ownership penetration in China is only 3 per cent, 80 per cent of buyers are purchasing their first-ever car and 90 per cent pay cash. Not only is it a massive market, it's ungeared and untapped.

(Power passes on advice he was given before visiting China: you have to learn to handle BFNs. The B stands for Big and the N stands for Numbers. The numbers on everything are huge. If you're nice to Investec, they might let you have a copy of his 75 slides from last night's show with lots of BFNs, or you can get the gist of what he's on about from his blog.)

RBA assistant governor economic, Dr Philip Lowe, also is a dab hand at telling a telling example. There were several in his Asian growth implications speech last October that helped make it compulsory reading for anyone who wants to understand where we are and where we could be going, instead of just fluffing around with transient headlines. His NatStats speech last Thursday was something of an update on the October job.

We have a family saying that everyone tends to value opinions that agree with their own. Thus I'll happily quote Lowe:

“At a general level, the importance of Asia to Australia is now well understood. Despite this, it remains the case that the financial news from the United States and Europe dominates our newspapers and our airwaves. With this constant flow of information about the North Atlantic, it is sometimes easy to forget just how profound – and important to Australia – are the structural changes taking place in Asia.”

I think the good doctor is being kind. Among the illustrative snapshots on offer this time:

Over the past 30 years, nearly 400 million Chinese have moved to the cities. There are some 170 Chinese cities now with more than one million residents compared with only 35 in all of Europe. The urbanisation process has a long way to run with another 300 to 400 million people expected to move from the country to the city over the next 20 years. A typical 90 square-metre apartment in China requires about six tonnes of steel. Every tonne of steel requires around 1.7 tonnes of iron ore and more than half a tonne of coking coal. You can work it out from there.

And that's just high-rise apartments. China is building railways like no-one ever has and every 10km of metropolitan subway requires about 75,000 tonnes of steel. And so on.

To state what should be obvious to us: “These developments in China are being closely observed in Australia, including at the Reserve Bank. A decade or so ago, we spent a lot of time puzzling over why quarterly movements in Australian GDP were so highly correlated with quarterly movements in US GDP. We don't puzzle over this anymore – not because we solved the puzzle, but because the correlation has fallen. At the same time, the correlation between quarterly movements in Australian and Chinese GDP has steadily increased. Clearly what happens in the Australian economy is now more dependent upon what happens in China than has been the case at any time in our past.”

Emerging Asia is our economy now and will continue to be, as regular visitors to this column are probably sick of reading. But on top of the changing relative importance of the US to us is the declining absolute importance of the US. (This is me postulating now, echoing some of Power, not the more circumspect RBA.)

Wall Street still calls the sentiment tune, but with the threat of more quantitative easing (ie printing money), the US is undermining its claim to the baseline of global capitalism – the “risk free” US government bond. It's not risk free when its value is being eroded. The idea of the greenback being the safe haven currency is simply bemusing, it's so last century.

It takes time for the massive changes we are witnessing to work their way through the systems, with plenty of disruptions along the way, but it takes even longer for most of us to comprehend that it's happening.

The current India headlines are very reasonably about the Commonwealth Games fiasco. Governments of all kinds need a crisis from time to time to be kicked into action – maybe an extremely embarrassing Commonwealth Games crisis will be good for India if it results in the smashing of walls of inefficiency, red tape and corruption, lifting the nation with 30 per cent of the world's children into the next stage of growth.

But in the meantime it would be foolish to let a few hastily and shoddily built sporting facilities overshadow the existing importance of the nation to us, let alone the future. A final quick reminder from the RBA Bulletin: Everyone knows China is our biggest trade partner now, most don't know that we have a bigger trade surplus with India.

A factoid from an Economist magazine cover story last month: In 1990 two-trade between India and China was just $US270 million. It's expected to be more than $US60 billion this year.

Think you know the Chindia story? Betcha don't – no-one really does because it's simply too big to fully grasp and it's still being written. Besides, “Chindia” is only part of the story with the rest of emerging Asia deserving fat volumes as well.

Here's something you never gonna forget,
B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor.

(3) Train kills seven elephants protecting calves on railway track in India

From: Erooth Mohamed <ekunhan@gmail.com> Date: 24.09.2010 09:42 PM

24/09/2010

http://green.in.msn.com/greennews/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4384194&page=0

Delhi: Seven elephants were crushed to death by a speeding train in eastern India as the family group desperately tried to shield two calves that had become stuck in the tracks, conservation officials said.

The two baby elephants became trapped as the herd crossed the track in a densely forested part of the northern district of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, on Wednesday yesterday. Officials had been urging operators to reduce the speed of trains in the region for months.

"Five elephants died immediately on the track while two others succumbed to their injuries on Thursday morning," said Atanu Raha, the chief forest conservator in West Bengal. The area is widely used by elephants as a transit corridor and a number have died after being hit by trains.

The adults had crowded around the trapped calves trying to protect them when they were hit by the goods train, Mr Raha said. The calves were among the dead. Rail traffic was immediately suspended. The surviving members of the herd were still at the scene yesterday morning, watching over the dead and injured, Mr Raha added.

The incident was seen as highlighting the highly social nature of elephants. Females live in tight family groups made up of mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts, led by the eldest. Different female family groups may interact. Males, by contrast, lead mostly solitary lives.

The train involved in the incident was travelling at about 65km/h - nearly twice the speed limit. A television station reported that hundreds of people staged a demonstration near the scene of the accident. A police complaint was lodged against the railway company.

There have been reports in recent weeks of elephants staring down trains that have halted at signals in the region. "They have been seeking revenge for past collisions," one wildlife official told The Times. More than 20 elephants have died in a little over a year in the area.

Earlier this month India's Environment Ministry declared elephants a "national heritage animal" that should be given the same protection as the endangered tiger.

India has up to 33,000 wild elephants and, as their habitats are encroached by humans, and vast swaths of jungle are cleared for mining projects, confrontations are becoming more common.

(4) Devadasi girls: temple prostitutes in south India

From: Erooth Mohamed <ekunhan@gmail.com> Date: 21.09.2010 07:07 AM

Monday, 20 September 2010

THOMAS L. KELLY

Girls in parts of South India are dedicated to the goddess Devadasi before puberty

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/prostitutes-of-god-2082290.html

Journalist Sarah Harris has made a documentary about temple prostitutes in south India -Devadasi girls are dedicated to a Hindu deity and spend their lives selling sex.

Interview by Matilda Battersby

Former Independent journalist Sarah Harris has made a documentary about India's temple prostitutes - Devadasi are young girls who are dedicated to a Hindu deity at a young age and support their families as sex workers.

The first instalment of the four-part exclusively online documentary 'Prostitutes of God' goes live today on VBS.tv.

I first went to India after I left The Independent three years ago. I wanted to run away and do something really different, so I went to volunteer with a charity in southern India which rescues victims of sex trafficking.

On my very first day there I stumbled into a meeting of Devadasi prostitutes. I was told that they were temple prostitutes, but didn’t have any understanding of what that meant.

I began to research it and in February 2008 was invited to northern Karnataka, which is the centre of the tradition in India. I interviewed a few of the women and wrote an article about it for Vice magazine. But visiting them stayed with me, and I wanted to find out more.

When you approach a Devadasi girl for interview the response varies hugely. There’s a huge spectrum of women. A really wealthy brothel madam in Mumbai would be quite proud to talk about what she does. But in very poor rural communities, like in Karnatakar, they’re much more difficult to talk to. These young women are ostracised and exploited and they’re ashamed of what they do. They wish they could get married, but they can’t and are in this dreadful prison.

The only thing that has changed since the Devadasi practise was made illegal in 1988 is that the ceremonies have been driven underground. It’s still very common in some parts of India. A Westerner wouldn’t know to look at the girls that they are Devadasi, but Indians know on sight who they are and what they do. Really it comes down to caste.

Caste is a massively complicated issue still in India. My understanding of it is that originally when the Devadasi tradition first came about, the women dedicated were from high caste families, even royalty. They held a very special place in the Indian culture: were incredible dancers, poets, artisans. They had specific religious roles to play within the temple performing various sacred religious rites. They were almost like nuns and it had nothing to do with sex. It was more like being a priestess.

The film shows how much the tradition has deteriorated over the centuries. Specifically in the 19th Century when the Christian missionaries came, the Devadasi became less well thought of. These days it’s very much a low caste tradition. Girls from the Madiga caste, otherwise known as the “untouchable caste,” have really limited prospects. They can be agricultural labourers, sewage collectors or prostitutes, essentially. As prostitution is the most lucrative, a lot of Madiga women get into sex work.

Some girls are dedicated to the goddess at age two or three. They won’t actually enter into sex work until they reach puberty at around twelve. The girls most at risk of being dedicated will have grown up in very matriarchal Devadasi communities. There aren’t any men. They don’t have fathers. So there probably is some understanding from a young age that they’re not from traditional families, they don’t have husbands.

The girls probably won’t have a real understanding of the sex work element until what they call their ‘first night’. This is when their virginity is sold to a local man, normally the highest bidder. He might be a local farmer, landowner or businessman. Some of them say, “I was dedicated to the goddess, but I didn’t know this was what was expected.”

When I first went to India I thought some of the women might consider it a kind of honour to be a Devadasi, because of it is an act of religious devotion. Sexuality and divinity are very closely entwined in the Hindu faith. Religion is closely linked to sexuality and beauty. But I think there’s very little religious link left now. Most of the women that we spoke to don’t even pay any heed to the traditional religious practises of the goddess. They see it as a business.

HIV is very prevalent in the community. Our translator, who works very closely with these communities, describes HIV as being like plucking a bunch of grapes. As soon as a woman is infected then her whole family becomes infected. Every man she sleeps with then becomes infected. Then the men pass it onto their wives. It’s very difficult to measure the disease’s prevalence because many don’t understand what that they’ve got.

There is widespread ignorance about AIDS and HIV in those communities. And a huge stigma attached to using condoms. People die of HIV related illnesses and they call it “dying of a fever.” The infected often go undiagnosed. There’s also huge disparity. One of the towns we went to had a huge NGO which was campaigning for the rights of sex workers, distributing condoms and educational materials, so the Devadasi were quite switched on about it.

It’s very difficult for girls to leave the profession. You see groups of former Devadasi becoming social activists and campaigners against the tradition. That’s one way out. Another is to become an educator or a social worker. There is a huge movement to try and stop dedications happening, and the impetus for that is coming from the grass roots. The former Devadasi women.

Living a normal life in India after having been a Devadasi prostitute is extremely, extremely hard because they're seen as damaged goods. In India marriage is everything. If there’s any suggestion that a girl has had sex before marriage then she's ostracised from society. Women are still stoned to death in some villages for those kinds of transgressions. So it’s very difficult for them to rebuild their lives.

The rest of the four-part documentary will be screened on VBS.tv later this week

Harris talked The Independent Online about making the film

(5) India prudish yet permissive - explicit sex in temple statues, but not in Bollywood

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/jul/22/sex-shame-and-indian-cinema

Sex, shame and Indian cinema

Why the continent is the most sexually contradictory place on earth. By Nirpal Dhaliwal

Nirpal Dhaliwal

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 July 2010 23.23 BST

India is the most sexually contradictory place on earth, the most prudish and permissive. There, holy men proudly exhibit elongated penises they've painfully stretched over years by tying them to boulders, and parents take their children to temples full of sculpted figures locked in graphic and gymnastic copulation. Nonetheless, furious protests take place each year against the "western festival" of Valentine's Day, and making a gentle pass at a woman can easily start a riot.

All of these contradictions are manifested in Indian cinema, for which rape, infidelity and romance have been staple storylines since its inception, though showing the merest onscreen kiss has been a taboo. Last week saw the first London screening of Love, Sex Aur Dhoka (Love, Sex and Pain), Bollywood's belated attempt at addressing India's increasing sexual openness. The film caused a kerfuffle in India with its voyeuristic storyline and CCTV footage of a couple writhing on the floor. But that scene, excitedly described on Wikipedia as a "seven-minute long bareback love-making scene" was cut by the censors to a short sequence showing only a woman's blurry, naked back as she wriggles on top of a man.

The primness of Indian cinema is at odds with wider society. Throughout the country, the government routinely puts up huge posters extolling condom use, and ordinary Indians often live with a degree of tolerance that is rare in Britain. Itinerant workers celebrate in their slum when the wife they haven't seen in years writes telling him she's just borne him a son, and many Indian men fondly remember the "aunty" he skipped school to lose his virginity with while her husband was at work.

Why, unlike almost everywhere else, are Indian films much more conservative than reality? Farrukh Dhondy, who wrote the script for Bandit Queen, suggests it is because the cinema has taken the temple's role in society. "India is so disparate that cinema became the national lingua franca and its national religion. People go to the cinema to worship the idols on screen. The characters are icons telling morality tales. There are ravaanas (demons), but they are always defeated.

"Indian cinema isn't novelistic. It does not draw from real life, it only creates myths. Hollywood creates myths, too, but there's a lot of observational stuff there also. In India, films are treated like religion and that's why the stars are so idealised. Like gods in a temple, characters on the screen are treated with reverence."

Dhondy tried breaking the mould when he wrote the movie Split Wide Open in 1999. "It was all about the seamy side of Mumbai life – paedophilia, conniving wives and homosexuality among the upper classes, and whatnot. But the censor cut it awfully, and when the producer complained, saying it ruined the integrity of the film, this sari-wearing Indian woman replied, 'Why are you making a fuss? We have given you three "fucks", what more  do you want?' And that was all we were given."

The director Deepa Mehta also tentatively tested boundaries but caused outrage. Her 1996 film Fire caused much harrumphing at its anodyne depiction of middle-class lesbianism, while its sequel, Water (2005), led to rioting. That film only stated the common knowledge that widows dumped at temple refuges are often forced into prostitution. Reactionaries objected to that fact being displayed onscreen far more than the actual practice itself.

"Indians go to the cinema to goggle and worship," says Dhondy. "They don't want the truth." In Britain, no one would screen pornography in a church, but in India, it's the reverse. Explicit sex is on show in the temples, while the movies don't even get to first base.

(6) Mohenjo-daro safe from rampaging floods caused by raging Indus River
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/mohenjo-daro-safe-from-rampaging-floods-caused-by-raging-indus-river_100420433.html

30 August 2010 9:15:51 PM by ANI

Islamabad, Aug 30(ANI): Mohenjo-daro, one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization, is reportedly safe from the heavy monsoon rains and the recent floods in Pakistan.

According to the Daily Times, water had flooded the Katcha land near the Jhali Bund, the nearest embankment of the Indus River to Mohenjo-daro, but had not reached the ruins.

Earlier, it was reported that a wave of 400,000 cusecs had passed through the Indus River, near Mohenjo-daro causing significant damage to the ancient city.

Dating back to 3,500 BC, the ancient city has been destroyed on more than one occasion by flooding of the Indus River.

It has been rebuilt directly on top of the old ruins at least seven times in the past.

Mohenjo-daro was included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List in 1980.

Spreading over an area of almost 600 acres, only 10 percent (50 acres) of its total area has been excavated so far. (ANI)

(7) Flood-Ravaged Pakistan needs dams to catch monsoon rain & store for dry season

From: Sandhya Jain <sandhya206@bol.net.in> Date: 09.09.2010 09:38 AM

Flood-Ravaged Nation: Pakistan Needs Vast Water-Management Plan

Ramtanu Maitra

9 September 2010

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1403
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2010/3734pak_water_plan.html

The floodwaters that began devastating Pakistan at the end of July are continuing their destructive course. While the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, situated west of the River Indus, the country’s lifeline, are waiting for the floodwaters to recede, the Indus is now devastating the southern province of Sindh on its way to the Arabian Sea. Still ahead are the heavy monsoon rains that lash the Indian subcontinent throughout most of September. In other words, there is no telling how long this devastation could last, or how much worse things will become.

The true nature of the catastrophe is probably much harsher than what has come out in the media. But even those reports indicate that this has been the worst flooding that Pakistan ever encountered in its 63 years of existence. It has affected at least 20 million people; made some 6.5 million homeless; and endangered the lives of 3.6 million children. Aerial food drops were not possible in most of the flooded areas, and moving people out of harm’s way became a painstaking adventure. People were moved in small numbers by boats, while reports indicate many more millions still need to be evacuated. Food is running short, potable water is non-existent, and all that is left in certain areas are the masses of people trying to get their families to a safe place.

What Pakistan needs to do for its long-term security is to develop a water-management plan whereby the annual rains can be stored in inter-linked reservoirs, controlled through locks and canals. In addition, the devastation of forests—Pakistan has only 5.2% of its land under forest cover compared to 25% in 1980—has allowed the water to come downstream too fast. These forests have to be regenerated.

By developing hundreds of reservoirs and small dams to hold water for utilization on the water-short plains, Pakistan’s biosphere, over a period of time, can be transformed. A system also needs to be developed to store water in many medium-size reservoirs in Sindh, by harvesting rainfall and river overflows which occur during the monsoon season. ...

Although Pakistan’s catastrophic floods have claimed at least 1,600 lives and made millions homeless, the problem is not that it is inundated with water. Pakistan, in reality, is a water-short nation, and its southern and western provinces are especially water deficient. However, Pakistan gets plenty of rain during the monsoon months, but does next to nothing to store that water and make it available for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and commercial uses.

While the Punjab is well served by three large rivers—the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab—the entire western part of Pakistan, including Balochistan, depends on snowmelt and rainfall. Sindh gets very little water, since the bulk of the Indus water is used, or evaporated, by the time it arrives in Sindh.

While Pakistan has dozens of projects in the planning stage, very little money has been allocated for water management. Moreover, the lack of political will has left these projects sitting on the drawing board. In addition, the British-inflicted ethnic rivalry, which dominates socioeconomic discussions in Pakistan, and prevents integrated nationwide projects from taking shape, is also a major impediment. For instance, the Kalabagh Dam, designed in 1984, never saw the light of the day. The dam, to be located at the junction of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on the Indus, would store water inside Punjab. The Sindhis did not allow this project to go through because they claim Sindh will be further starved of water, while the Punjabi agriculturists will benefit from the use of additional stored water.

According to some Pakistani engineers, the Kalabagh Dam, even it had been constructed, would have done little to hold these all-immersing floodwaters, and probably would have caused more misery by flooding the main Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa city, Peshawar, and beyond.

However, Tauseef-ur-Rehman, writing for the daily The News on Aug. 23, quoted engineer Fatehullah Khan who said the country was in dire need of dams and the government should take up the matter on a priority basis. He said the government should concentrate on Katzarah Dam, 20 miles downstream of Skardu on the River Indus, which has a storage capacity six times more than the Kalabagh Dam. “The current exceptionally high floods that created unprecedented havoc would have been mitigated, had Katzarah Dam, with a storage capacity of 35 million acre feet, been built in time,” Fatehullah stressed.

The author is South Asian Analyst at Executive Intelligence Review News Services Inc

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