ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has allowed Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to install 15 tubewells in the jurisdiction of the capital city.

The agency had been requesting the CDA to grant it permission to install the tubewells along the service road of Islamabad Expressway so that water from these could be pumped towards Rawalpindi.

CDA Member Planning Naveed Ilahi on June 10 issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) with a condition that 50pc of the water will be provided to nearby localities that fall in the jurisdiction of Islamabad as the capital is also facing shortage of water.

“Yes, we have allowed Wasa to install 15 tubewells along the expressway with a main condition that 50pc water will be provided to our areas. So, it is a win-win situation for both the water scarcity-hit cities,” said an official of the civic agency.

CDA issues NOC on condition that 50pc of water will be provided to localities in capital

It is relevant to note that Islamabad has already been facing water shortage as it provides around 70 million gallons daily (MGDs) to the urban population while the rural population is depending on water schemes of the local government. The total requirement of Islamabad is 220mgd. Groundwater level in Islamabad has been decreasing for the last one decade or so.

To improve the water table, last year CDA inked an agreement with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) to enhance the water table through construction of 150 recharging wells.

The NOC, a copy of which is available with Dawn, stated that the CDA had no objection to the installation of 15 tubewells along the service road of the Islamabad Expressway from Faizabad to Koral Interchange.

Around 50pc of the water will be provided to nearby localities in Islamabad’s jurisdiction, it states, adding a monitoring mechanism in this regard will be devised jointly between CDA, Wasa and the ICT administration.

The NOC also states that sites for installation of the 15 tubewells would be selected and finalised in close coordination with the CDA’s Planning Wing to avoid infringement of any existing or proposed underground/above ground services.

“The tubewells will be removed whenever the area of Islamabad Expressway is required by CDA.”

CDA’s spokesperson Syed Asif Raza also confirmed that the civic agency had issued the NOC, adding residents of both the cities will use water produced from the tubewells.

Last year, emboldened by the support of then interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s nephew, Wasa had asked the CDA to allow it to install tubewells in the federal capital’s jurisdiction for the citizens of Rawalpindi.

The garrison city’s civic agency had the support of Member National Assembly (MNA) Sheikh Rashid Shafique, who wrote a letter to the CDA, asking it to permit Wasa to install tubewells within its jurisdiction to meet the water needs of the residents of Rawalpindi.

Published in Dawn,June 17th, 2022

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