Water shortage and MCI’s promises: Mayor Anser proves himself ‘good for nothing’




Since the local elections held in capital 17 months ago, the mayor had come with various promises, one of which was to resolve water issues on priority which has now proven hollow so far as no strategy is in place to give relief to the citizens. This is alarming that the MCI could not fix the faulty tubewells and Ramzan is ahead.

There are only 21 water tankers working out of 33, which are less than minimum to entertain the federal capital. On March 29, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had witnessed strong criticism over its poor strategy and non-seriousness to timely resolve its water issues which is causing acute water shortage in capital by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s local representatives.

Then, it was revealed by CADD minister in a press conference that the civic agency through all means was only providing the 1/3rd required water to the citizens of Islamabad, which was quite less for basic necessities. The CADD minister then announced Rs 50 million for the water related issues. Rs 40m were announced for the rehabilitation of 60 dysfunctional tubewells and Rs 10m for repairing the leaked water lines of Simli Dam.

While talking to Pakistan Today, MCI opposition leader Ali Awan said that the CADD minister, mayor in a press conference lied to the nation. Allocation of special budget was also a fraud. He said that the opposition would highlight this issue in the next session as no policy has been adopted so far to resolve water issues. “The committee which was formed to look into the matter is good for nothing,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the MCI, in Dec 2016, had also announced two PTCL landline numbers and two mobile numbers for complaints which will be on for 24/7. The numbers are 051-9253016, 051-9252962 and 0333-1518819, 0333-1518820. Interestingly, when this scribe made repeated calls on every number, no one picked up which revealed the seriousness of mayor, MCI and CDA.

Acute water shortage looms over capital as level in both Simly and Khanpur reservoirs is decreasing almost three inches every day. Besides, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has failed to fix 46 out-of-order tubewells, though it is in the process of floating tenders for the purpose.

Against the demand of 211 mgd water daily, the MCI is providing only 55 to 65 mgd water and this gap is most likely to be increased during May, June and July.

The MCI is getting 7 to 8 mgd from Khanpur Dam against the approved 12 mgd, whereas Simly Dam was providing around 25 mgd water against the approved 37 mgd.

When contacted, Mayor cum CDA Chairman CDA Sheikh Anser Aziz said that the authority has repaired many tubewells, but most of them have major issues, which needed proper treatment and would take time. “CDA is tendering the matter of retreatment and the remaining tubewells would also start working soon,” he said.

Subsequently, the Directorate of Public Relation issued a press release on Thursday that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has suspended the services of six officials on account of charges of involvement in water theft from main supply line of Simly Dam. “Several initiatives in this regard have also been taken including repair of main water supply line. Repair and maintenance work on 40 kilometer long water supply line is also being carried out while illegal connections are being removed from the main supply line,” said a press release.

It is worth mentioning here that at present, there are more than 6674 illegal water connections in Islamabad. 2172 in sector I-10, 793 in I-8, 1001 in Hummak and 221 are in F and G series to which CDA has failed to act.