ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to request the Punjab government for provision of land to construct a small dam in the upper area of Simly Dam.
“We want to build a small dam upstream Simly Dam at Chinoyot located in the limits of the Punjab government.The CDA chairman has directed us to take up the issue with the Punjab government,” Water Management Department’s Deputy Director General (DDG) Sardar Khan Zimri told Dawn on Sunday.
He said the feasibility study of the dam had been conducted in the 80s but afterward no step was taken for the construction of the reservoir.
Mr Zimri said after completing all formalities, construction work would be completed within two years. He said the proposed dam would add around 20 million gallon daily (mgd) water to the system.
Proposed reservoir upstream Simly Dam will add 20mgd to system, says official
Asked about the rationale behind constructing a dam near Simly Dam, he said the reservoir would be used for storing water during rainy seasons.
“It will be some sort of a feeder dam as during the monsoon we open the spillways of Simly Dam but after construction of the small dam instead of wasting water we will store it to cope with water shortage in the city,” he said.
CDA officials said Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed chaired a meeting to discuss water-related projects.
The participants discussed the Ghazi Barotha project under which Islamabad and Rawalpindi will get 100mgd water. However, this project will take over five years for completion after work is started. The project requires more than Rs100 billion.
The officials said the CDA chairman directed that instead of looking towards the Ghazi Barotha project, the CDA should explore options for small projects to add around 30mgd to the system would be sufficient to overcome water shortage in the next few years.
The chairman examined the study of the proposed dam and directed the engineering wing and the directorate of water management to write a letter to the Punjab government.
He said he would also request the Punjab government to allow the CDA to use its land for the construction of the dam.
The chairman CDA also directed the DDG to prepare working papers for Shahdara and Noorpur water reservoirs which have potentials to provide around eight mgd to the CDA.
The meeting was also told that the CDA was going to dig 23 wells to store rainwater, which will also recharge underground water level in Islamabad.
Islamabad is a water scarcity city as during the last few decades the civic agency could not add water from any new source to the system. Last year, however, the CDA got its supply of two mgd water restored from Rawal Dam after over two decades.
Currently, the CDA is supplying 60mgd from three main sources – Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells. The actual need in accordance with CDA’s own study is 220 mgd for the entire capital. On the other hand, the CDA has been discussing and holding meetings on the mega Ghazi Barotha Project since 2008.
“This project is a long-term solution to the issue. But nobody knows when this project will be started and completed. Instead of completely relying on it, time has come to explore other sources to cope with the shortage of water,” said an engineer of CDA. He said that besides Chinoyot and Shahdara dams, the CDA should also explore options to construct small dams in Margalla Hills.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021