LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet on Friday formed a committee to examine the proposal for constructing a dam on the Ling river in Rawalpindi district, whereas it also discussed the proposed amendment to the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Act 1992.

The Supreme Court has reportedly directed the government to consider building the Dadhocha Dam on Ling river close to Sihala for the provision of water to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Irrigation Minister Mohsin Leghari says he had raised the issue with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who agreed to the proposal and put it before the cabinet for approval.

He says the cabinet meeting formed a committee comprising Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja, Public Health Engineering Minister Mian Mahmoodur Rashid and him (Mr Leghari) to examine the suggestion threadbare before taking a final decision.

He says that terms of reference of the panel will be framed in its meeting to be convened soon.

However, officials of the Cabinet Wing say that as the apex court has so far issued only verbal instructions on the reservoir issue, they will wait for a written notification of it before giving a formal shape to the proposal.

A source in the irrigation department reveals that the proposed Dadhocha Dam will have the capacity to store just 35 million gallons of water, while just Rawalpindi as per a study conducted 10 years ago needs 25 million gallons of the commodity and the requirement will surely have gone up during the last decade.

The official says the reservoir is proposed to meet some drinking water needs of a couple of housing societies located on the outskirts of the federal capital.

About the IRSA act amendment, he says it’s related to Chashma Right Bank Canal waters as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is seeking compensation for its share of water being consumed by Punjab and Sindh provinces.

He says that a panel of experts will visit the site and prepare its recommendations on the basis of the study for discussion by the cabinet.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2018

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