Red-tapism stalls clean water project

December 09, 2009

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 Progress on the Rs15.84 billion clean drinking water for all (CDWA) project has been slow because of political expediencies and bureaucratic hiccups.

Delay in the implementation of the project is not only increasing its cost but also denying clean drinking water to millions of Pakistanis. The CDWA, under which 6,626 water filtration plants were to be set up by 2010, is to be executed by the federal Ministry of Special Initiatives.

Provincial governments - the implementation authorities - want autonomy, including control over finances, and this has largely been the major hurdle.

Tendering for filter plants to be set up in Sindh and the NWFP was completed in 2007, but there has not been much progress since.

In all 1,108 plants would be set up in Sindh and 110 plants have been completed so far.

In the NWFP, 273 plants out of 986 have been set up.

Project director S.A. Khalid said “At our end, everything is available ... be it provision of money, consultancy or technical help ... but the development of plants exclusively depends on provincial governments.”

Punjab has to set up 3,482 filter plants.

The project in the province has been delayed because of provincial government's objections over the tendering process.

In Balochistan, 302 plants out of planned 567 have been installed.