SINCE water supply to Rawalpindi and Islamabad is inadequate, one must ponder about the alternative to meet the demands of the twin cities. There are two probable sites close to Islamabad — Chirah and Gorakhpur. The desired catchment area can be easily achieved. There is a need to check the feasibility as far as economic viability is concerned.
Another study can also be carried out to build a powerhouse if the desired fall is achieved by building what is called pen stock technology. Survey between 33km of its length of Soan river can also be carried out for any suitable site other than proposed above. An alternative dam is need of the hour as Rawal dam cannot fulfill the needs of the twin cities.
Pakistan on the whole also lacks dams. We must not allow millions of acres feet of rainwater get lost into the sea. Unchecked flow of water in the monsoon ends up in erosion of cultivatable land in villages located in Chountra police station.
Both federal and Punjab governments must look into these proposals and approve a site at the earliest.
Engr Riaz Akbar
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2017