ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has shifted 25 tubewells installed in Poona Faqiran area to an automated system in a bid to ensure uninterrupted supply of water for I-9 and I-10 sectors.

The authority’s chairman, Amer Ali Ahmed, inaugurated the tubewell automation system at Poona Faqiran treatment plant in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“The Poona Faqiran water treatment plant has been automated on an experimental basis. The modern system installed at Faqiran Water Treatment Plant will control 25 tubewells through an automated system, which will ensure uninterrupted water supply in sectors I-9 and I-10,” a CDA press release said.

It added that in addition to improving water supply, the system will help save Rs30 million annually.

“All water supply facilities, including tubewells, are being shifted to modern automation system, which can be monitored through a mobile application,” the press release stated.

The plant in Poona Faqiran was established in 1998.

The CDA chairman appreciated the water supply directorate and directed the relevant officers to take steps for installing solar panels at the plant to save energy.

Deputy Director General (Water Management) Sardar Khan Zimri, when contacted, said there were 176 existing tubewells of CDA and some new ones were also being installed that would eventually be shifted to an automated system.

It is relevant to note here that Islamabad has three main sources of water - Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells. The CDA supplies around 65 million gallons daily (MGD) to urban areas while the total water need of the entire city (urban and rural) is over 220MGD.

On the other hand, during the last 25 years no serious step has been taken to create new sources.

Recently, the CDA board approved the concept of constructing two small dams, Shahdhara and Chiniot whereas, a mega scheme namely Ghazi Barotha Project, designed to provide 100MGD each to Rawalpindi and Islamabad, is in its initial stage as around Rs100 billion is required for the scheme. Initially, the estimated cost of this project was Rs37 billion and then in the revised PC-I in 2017, its cost was raised to Rs77 billion. Some officials believe that if the PC-I was revised one more time, its estimated cost would cross Rs100 billion.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2021

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