ISLAMABAD: City managers on Wednesday decided to take steps for construction of two small dams — Shahdara and Chiniot — to overcome water shortage issue in Islamabad.

It has also been decided that from Thursday (today), water supply from Simly Dam to Islamabad will also be increased by eight mgd. Islamabad, which is a fast growing city, still relies on old water sources and reservoirs, which have now inadequate water to meet the city requirement. Overall water requirement of Islamabad (both rural and urban) is around 250 million gallon daily (mgd) with city requirement is said to be 120 mgd.

However, CDA supplies around 70 mgd from its decades old three main sources — Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells.

Currently, Simly Dam is supplying 26mgd (which will be increased up to 34 mgd from today), Khanpur dam around nine mgd and tubewells and some other minor sources fulfill rest of the water need.

Water supply from Simly Dam to Islamabad to be increased by eight mgd from today

Presiding over a meeting on the water issue, CDA Chairman Mohammad Ali Randhawa directed the wing concerned for “immediate work on Shahdara, Tarbela, Chiniot and Khanpur dams so that the water problem can be solved on a permanent basis”.

The Chiniot dam will be constructed in catchment area of Simly Dam while Shahdara dam will be set up on Shahdara stream.

Meanwhile, a press release of the CDA said that instructions had also been issued to the civic body to start work on Khanpur Dam and Ghazi Brotha project. CDA and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board have been receiving water from Khanpur Dam through Khanpur canal.

However, during the meeting it was informed that around 40pc water is being theft before reaching Islamabad’s water reservoir that is called Sangjani water works.

“The CDA chairmanexpressed his anger over the watertheft from Khanpur Dam to Sangjani Plant Canal. While giving a briefing, he was told that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have control over the canal.

The CDA Chairman while issuing instructions said that a proposal should be made and submitted in this regard to sort out this problem by talking to Wapda and other organisations,“ read the press release. The meeting also discussed Ghazi Barotha project, which was proposed in 2007. It was designed to provide 100 mgd to Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Initially, the estimated cost of the project was Rs37 billion. However, in 2017, its estimated cost was increased to Rs77 billion and now it has climbed to more than Rs120 billion.

The press release said keeping in view the summer, the CDA chairman issued direction to the civic body to provide an additional eight mgd water to the citizens daily from Simly Dam. Similarly, the duration of water supply should be increased in densely populated sectors and areas.

The press release said that the CDA Chief also issued the direction that leaves of all staff of the water supply wing should be cancelled.

Similarly, the tanker service should also be kept on high alert round the clock and all the complaints of leakages in the pipelines should also be eliminated immediately, it said.

He also directed that a proposal should be submitted within three days regarding the installation of solar system at water pumping stations so that the huge amount used for energy can be diverted to other development works of the city.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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