PTI’s protest acts as a wake-up call for CDA

  • ‘Civic agency provides one-third of required water to citizens’; Federal capital may also get water from Ghazi Brotha

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday witnessed strong criticism over its poor strategy and non-seriousness to timely resolve water issues which is causing acute shortage in the federal capital.

Addressing a press conference, State Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary said that the civic agency through all means was only providing the one-third required water to the citizens of Islamabad, which is quite less for basic necessities. Only 53 million gallon water (MGW) is being supplying out of 150 MGW required per day.

Talking to Pakistan Today, MNA Asad Umar said that he assigned opposition leader to meet the mayor who is also chairman of CDA today (Thursday) and re-check that the funds were being released to rehabilitate water supply system and to get a deadline from the authority.

He said that if highlighting the public issues were dirty-politics, then he would like to carry on the same. “The rally was dispersed when the mayor assured to resolve the matter and the state minister announced Rs50m budget,” he said. If the authority would not resolve the water shortage issue in promised time, then the rally can be converted into something else, he said.

Yesterday was hard for the mayor, as the opposition staged walkout from the 11th session of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and chided the civic agency for not paying attention to water relating issues. In December 2016, MCI had also announced two PTCL landline numbers and two mobile numbers for complaints which will be on for 24/7. Interestingly, when this scribe made repeated calls on every number, no one picked up which revealed the seriousness of the authorities.

During the MCI session, opposition leader Ali Awan apprised the session that he had witnessed that the citizens of G-10 sector bathed the dead body with mineral water as they were not getting the supply water from some days. He questioned that why action was not taken against those who are using water from supply lines to wash vehicles.

Subsequently, the local chapter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) staged protest at G-9 sector on water scarcity. MNA Asad Umar led the protest, which saw participation from activists and city residents. After the protest, the state minister along with the mayor assured the residents for betterment in water supply.

Dr Tariq Fazal announced Rs 50 million budget for rehabilitation of 60 dysfunctional tube wells as well as repairing of leaked water lines from the Simli Dam. In December 2016, a seven-day short-term plan to cater the water scarcity and to give an instant relief was announced by MCI in which authority would revamp 60 out of order tube wells and repair the leak lines, but to no avail.

For the population of 1.2 million people only in urban areas of the federal capital, 125 million gallon water per day (MGWPD) required, according to CDA record. While according to the set parameters of the Planning Commission, 60 gallon per person per day. The Simly Dam has the capacity to provide 39 million gallon water per day but only providing 25 million gallon and Khanpur Dam has the capacity to provide 16 million gallon water per day but only providing eight million as two out of three foreign-made motors are not running since 2002.

On Wednesday, the state minister said that there were only 60 tube wells dysfunctional in contradiction with the previous statement of MCI that 72 out of 192 tube wells were not running. In which, 60 out of 72 have only nominal mechanical and technical issues. He said that there were 30 water tankers running in the capital to provide water facility.

At present, there are more than 6674 illegal water connections in Islamabad. To a question, Dr Tariq Fazal said that PTI was doing dirty-politics by gathering people for non-issues and hold a protest. In order to overcome water shortage in the capital, planning of the project of supplying water from Ghazi Brotha was at advance stages, the mayor said.

He said that the project would permanently resolve the complaints regarding water shortage. Due to less rains during the current year, level in the water reservoirs has been decreased, he said, adding that the water shortage would not be occurred while acting upon effective strategy.