Will the capital’s water woes finally be over?

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ISLAMABAD: Construction on Ghazi Brotha Project, an Rs50 billion project to supply water to the capital to help plug the water supply gap, is soon to be started and is expected to resolve the shortage issue on permanent basis as it would provide 200 MGD water to the city, according to sources at Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI).

Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz, in a meeting with the Chinese delegation, apprised them of different development initiatives of MCI and gave different suggestions in this regard.

He also informed the delegation that provision of sufficient water to the residents of the federal capital is among the top priorities of MCI.

Islamabad is expanding day by day and existing water resources including Simly Dam, Tube wells and Khanpur Dam cannot meet water requirements of the city. The government has approved provision of water from Ghazi Brotha Project and soon after completion of necessary codal formalities work on the project would be launched.

Islamabad mayor told the delegation that MCI is also planning to replace old and dilapidated water supply lines and existing network. He said that the existing water supply network was laid down in the 60s which are now in dilapidated and due to leakages, a large quantity of water waste on daily basis. He further informed that initially, repair/maintenance of water supply line, conducting water from Simly Dam to the city, has been completed while repair/maintenance on rest of water supply network is in progress. Islamabad mayor also briefed the delegation about other different development projects being carried out MCI.

During the meeting, it was decided that the Chinese delegation and technical team of MCI would discuss and prepare different proposals. After evaluation, these proposals will be submitted to the government for approval.

According to CDA record, for the population of 1.2 million people only in urban areas of federal capital require 125 Million Gallon Water per Day (MGWPD) according to the set parameters of the planning commission, 60 gallons per person per day.

Simly Dam has the capacity to provide 39 million gallon water per day but only providing 25 million gallons and Khanpur Dam has the capacity to provide 16 million gallon water per day but only providing 8 million as 2 out of 3 foreign made motors are not running since 2002. At present, there are only 60 tube wells dysfunctional in contradiction with the previous statement of MCI that 72 out of 192 tube wells are not running. In which, 60 out of 72 have only nominal mechanical and technical issues. These 192 water tube wells have the capacity to provide 32.4 MGWPD but only providing 20 MGWPD.

Talking to Pakistan Today, MCI spokesperson Malik Salim said that the entire working of the project has been done and soon the work will be initiated. “The water woes of Islamabad need a permanent solution rather than temporary ones like boring and water rankers. MCI will oversee and ensure its timely completion,” he said.