Water supply from Khanpur Dam reduced after breach in canal

Updated August 24, 2019

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RCB carries out repair work following a breach in the left canal of Khanpur Dam. — White Star
RCB carries out repair work following a breach in the left canal of Khanpur Dam. — White Star

RAWALPINDI: A breach in the left bank canal of Khanpur Dam on Friday forced the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to reduce the supply of water to Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The main 19.6km-long channel was damaged due to landsliding followed by the recent rains.

The dam is a source of drinking water for the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Currently, 14.5 million gallons of water daily (MGD) is supplied to the CDA and eight and nine MGD to Wasa and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), respectively.

A senior official of the RCB told Dawn that teams were working to repair the canal in the shortest possible time. He said the repair work would be completed in about 10 days. The residents of the cantonment areas who rely on the water supply from Khanpur Dam would face the shortage.

When contacted, Cantonment Executive Officer Sibtain Raza said the channel was damaged after heavy rains last month.

The damaged canal is being repaired and work will be completed in about five days, official says

He said the water share for the cantonment areas had been reduced from nine to four MGD. But the repair work has been launched and would be completed in next 10 days to restore the supply, he added.

He said the RCB had provided machinery and staff for the repair work and also chalked out a plan to meet the water shortage in the area. He said there was enough water in the Sangjani filtration plant but the residents had been asked to use water carefully till Sept 3.

“We are committed to striving for uninterrupted water supply to our residents. The supply of water from tubewells would continue in the affected areas.”

On the other hand, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) also chalked out a plan to provide water to nine localities which are supplied water from Khanpur Dam.

The effected localities are: Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Matkal, Ratta Amral, Pirwadhai, Pindora, Double Road, Shamsabad, Mullpur and Sadiqabad.

Wasa spokesman Umer Farooq said the agency would try its best to provide water to the residents by other means. He said the agency would also release water to the localities from Rawal Dam.

Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) officials said the water supply to their areas had been reduced to one MGD.

They said underground water was not available in many areas and after the reduction in supply of water from the dam the residents would have to arrange private tankers.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019