ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Tuesday recommended setting up a water board to handle water supply from Khanpur Dam to Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

A sub-committee of National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources that met here under the convenership of MNA Ali Nawaz Awan discussed various issues related to water.

The meeting discussed the supply of water from Khanpur Dam as both Rawalpindi and Islamabad are receiving less than their allocated quote from the dam.

The meeting discussed the various options how to improve water supply from the dam.

The meeting was told that there were several stakeholders such as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Irrigation Departments, Khanpur Dam Management, Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board, etc.

The meeting recommended that Water Board should be formed, which will also have representative from Water and Power Development Authority.

“Today, we discussed the issue of Khanpur Dam water supply in detail and after getting input from relevant organisations, we recommended for formation of water board,” convener of the committee told Dawn after the meeting.

He said that CDA had been allocated 53mgd quota from the dam but it has been receiving far less than the approved quota.

The committee also discussed the restoration of water supply for Islamabad from Rawal Dam, as CDA used to get over two mgd water from this dam until late 90s. The committee was told that CDA in coming days will pay its outstanding dues to Small Dam Organisation, which is custodian of the Rawal Dam, for restoration of the supply. Representatives of Small Dam informed the committee that they would take up the issue with the provincial government before formally restoring the two mgd for CDA.

The committee directed CDA and Small Dam Organization (SDO) to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The CDA will receive raw water from the dam and then it will treat it before supplying to residents.

Earlier, committee also got briefing from SDO for reopening of old Rawal Dam Park and picnic spot, which had been closed in 2013 due to security reason. The convener of the committee said that security is no more issue in the country, therefore, there is no justification to keep closing the said site.

The committee was told by SDO officials that they would take up the matter with provincial government and would be convey the committee’s recommendation to them.

The committee has taken up the issue for reopening of the said park several times, but failed to achieve any major breakthrough.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2020

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