BAHAWALPUR: The federal government is actively examining a project to create a lake in the bed of Sutlej river near the city.

The river has been dry for years with the implementation of Indus Waters Treaty under which India has discontinued water supply to it except during flood season. Resultantly, thousands of acres in Bahawalpur division turned barren, severely damaging the economy.

Senator Saud Majid Chaudhry said this while presiding over a high-level meeting here on Saturday with officials of World Bank (WB), the National Engineering Services Pakistan and district administration.

He claimed the WB would cooperate with the federal government in financing the project that had been approved by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with a view to provide modern recreation facilities to people.

The project would help end increasing pollution in the area and was also expected to raise the low underground water level carrying high deposits of arsenic making it hazardous for consumption.

The senator said the lake was estimated to be developed on 2,000 acres in the dried-up bed of Sutlej. He said government officials concerned had been directed to conduct a detailed survey of the area and submit a report at the earliest for finalisation of the project.

SURVEY: A technical committee has been constituted on the directives of Commissioner Saqib Zafar to carry out a survey of public and private dilapidated buildings in the three districts of the division.

The committee was formed after reports that there were a number of old buildings that were on the verge of collapse and might cause casualties. The committee would comprise government officials of various departments.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2015

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