Many middle-income sectors, including G-11, G-10, G-8, I-10 and others, of Islamabad are suffering from acute water shortage as their supplies have been either cut off or water supply is so paltry that it barely fulfills the basic needs.
In the recent months, the residents of afore-mentioned sectors have not only been denied their share of water supply but also the subsidised tankers that the CDA provides are few and far between. Many of them go to filtration plants in order to get water for their daily use.
The issue of water shortage is not new. Since mid 90s the residents of Islamabad have witnessed the dwindling water supply. In the wake of water crisis, the private water tankers were moved in the city to supply water. Initially the price of a tank was quite reasonable. However, presently, a single water tank costs as much as Rs. 2,000.
CDA also supplies water through its own tankers. But to get hold of them, one turns out to be a Herculean task as mostly these tankers provide water to people who have ‘approach’ or ‘connections. The bureaucrats, the policemen and the businessmen get their tankers on priority basis. Rest of the populace is either at the mercy of uncertain water supply or private tanker mafia.
The leakage in the water supply is another cause of water theft. It has been noted that this leakage is done by the construction sites, roadside hotels and other elements of such ilk.
The ubiquitous trend of ‘water boring’ has also contributed gravely by disturbing the water table of the capital. The water levels have been going down each passing day and the situation does not bode well at all. One can spot many water borings done in private capacity by residents as well as government officials for their convenience.
It has been estimated that the daily requirement of Islamabad is 200 MGD (Million Gallons per Day). However, only 90 MGD is available. The rest of the water is brought in by tankers or water boring.
Last month the provinces in an act of solidarity granted the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi water from their respective share. Hopefully, it will better the situation in days to come.
‘When we moved in these flats back in 1997, we had no gas, no water supply. We used cylinders and two tankers of CDA came daily, the residents were limited and it was a new sector. We managed well back then. Now the number of residents has increased. The water supply comes every other day and when it comes it lasts 20, 30 minutes. I request the authorities to have mercy on our lot and kindly provide us water,’ said Rubina Khatoon, a housewife living in sector G-11.
Climate change, in our day and age, has seized to be a hypothetical construct and established itself as a glaring reality. The water crisis faced by Pakistan in general and Islamabad in particular, calls for authorities to address this issue on war footing as in recent days, the problem has become dire.
‘There is no shortage of water anywhere in Islamabad. Our tankers are supplying water day and night to residents of Islamabad. We are doing everything in our capacity to alleviate the shortage’, said Ramzan Sajid, spokesperson of CDA. When asked about the situation in various sectors, he replied that the helplines are open 24/7, and that they promptly act on complains filed.