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RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Planning Commission has approved the Daducha Dam project worth Rs6.127 billion which will provide the garrison city with 25 million gallons per day (MGD) of water and asked the district administration to start the process of land acquisition.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) had proposed the establishment of 12 dams to meet the water requirements of the twin cities including the Chirah and Daducha dams.

In 2006, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) purchased 18,000 kanals at the site where the dam was to be built and launched a housing scheme as a joint venture with Bahria Town.

On Aug 4, 2015 the Supreme Court in a suo motu case directed the Punjab government to construct the dam at the originally proposed site. Soon after these directives, the government banned the sale and purchase of land in the area and allocated funds for the construction of the dam in its annual development plan for 2017-18.

With the water shortage in Rawalpindi, the provincial government found it had no other option but to start work on the Daducha Dam.

The Small Dam Organisation prepared the PC-I for the dam which was approved by the Punjab Planning Commission on Jan 2 in Lahore.

District admin has been asked to acquire land for the reservoir which will supply 25MGD of water to Rawalpindi

The dam will be constructed upstream on Soan River and all the rainwater from Murree and the Kahuta Hills will gather in the lake at Daducha Village, near Sihala on Kahuta Road.

A senior district administration official told Dawn that construction work on the dam will start after the acquisition of land and that the divisional commissioner will pass the notification in this regard soon.

“The villages of Bhun, Launa and Bhaoni will be submerged in the dam. Seven industrial and commercial units, 218 houses and other areas will be affected by the project,” he said.

The official added that Rs2.853 billion has been allocated for the procurement of land.

“The government had already stopped the sale and purchase of land in the area so investors will not increase the price of land through new sales and purchases,” he added.

The official said Rawalpindi needs more water with the increase in its population and that Rawal and Khanpur dams cannot fulfill the city’s water requirements.

According to official figures, the city requires 50 MGD of water. It is supplied 40 MGD from the 410 tubewells in the city, Rawal Dam and Khanpur Dam.

A senior official of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) said the deficit of water will increase from 10MGD to 41MGD by 2025 if other sources are not explored as Rawal Dam has outlived its design life and cannot supply more than 22 MGD water. This supply is not available during droughts.

He said rain water is wasted due to the lack of proper dams.

“Work should be started on the Chirah Dam so water is available in the future when the demand increases,” he said.

The dam will also raise the underground water table which is depleting fast in Rawalpindi.

When asked, Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal said section 144 has been imposed around the proposed site of the dam, homework has been completed for the acquisition of land and a survey of the area has been completed as well.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2018