Water supply to Islamabad from Rawal Dam restored after three decades

Published March 30, 2021
Two mgd water to the supply system from Rawal Dam would help the CDA overcome the water shortage in the city. — File photo
Two mgd water to the supply system from Rawal Dam would help the CDA overcome the water shortage in the city. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: After a gap of three decades, the supply of water from Rawal Dam to Islamabad has been restored.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday started receiving two million gallon per day (mgd) which is being stored in a treatment plant near the sports complex.

“We are very happy today as finally the supply of water from Rawal Dam has been restored,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan.

He said the addition of the two mgd water to the supply system of Islamabad would help the CDA overcome the water shortage in the city.

Officials said that last year at a meeting on water supply issue when CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed was informed about an abandoned treatment plant near the sports complex, he inquired about the rationale behind its construction.

Two mgd from reservoir is being stored at treatment plant near sports complex, say officials

He was told that the CDA used to get two to four mgd water from Rawal Dam until the ‘90s and before releasing it to the sectors, the water was treated in the plant.

The officials said the chairman then ordered the water supply directorate to get the plant functional as the CDA would make efforts to get the supply of water from the dam restored.

He also provided funds to the water directorate to revive the dysfunctional treatment plant. Later, the CDA also paid the outstanding dues of Rs32 million to the Small Dam Organisation for restoration of the supply from the dam.

Meanwhile, a subcommittee on water resources headed by Mr Awan played a major role in convincing the Punjab government to restore the water supply to Islamabad.

“A CDA team and all the committee members above party lines deserve appreciation for this achievement,” Mr Awan said and added that after the addition of the two mgd, the supply of water will be improved in several residential sectors.

Islamabad is being considered as a water scarcity-hit city as it is being supplied 65 to 70 mgd against the total need of 220 mgd. The capital city has only three sources of water: Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells. But these three sources are decades-old and no focus was paid for exploring new sources of water.

On the other hand, the population of Islamabad has saw manifold increase as currently it has over 2.2 million population which is constantly increasing.

CDA officials said as a short-term measure, the civic agency was focusing on the repair and maintenance of the supply lines by plugging leakages in the pipelines. Seven new tankers have also been added to the fleet of tankers.

The CDA has been stating that Ghazi Barotha project, which is designed to provide 100 mgd of water each to Rawalpindi and Islamabad, is a long-term solution but so far the project could not move beyond the feasibility stage.

The officials said for executing the project, the federal government will have to bear the expense as roughly over Rs70 billion were required for the mega project.

However, for the ongoing fiscal year 2020-21, the federal government has earmarked Rs400 million for the feasibility study while Rs3,154 million have been earmarked for land acquisition.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2021

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