Around a million water tube wells, a lowering water table, and mismanagement of water supply all set to exasperate citizens during Ramzan
ISLAMABAD: It seems that even during the month of Ramzan the denizens of Capital won’t have reprieve from acute water shortage in many of its sectors since the city managers have failed to address the core issues, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Water woes in many sectors and rural areas of Islamabad are all set to aggravate as water consumption increases during the month of Ramzan. The recent rain falls have improved the water level in Simly dam, the primary source of water supply to Islamabad, however, the mismanagement of water supply by CDA (Capital Development Authority) and FGEHF (Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation) paint a dreary picture of water woes this Ramzan.
It is pertinent to mention that the population of Islamabad is presently estimated around 2 million and increasing at the rate of 5.7 percent per year. However, with increase in populace the additional arrangements for water procurement lag behind in fulfilling needs of the residents.
The water scarcity in Islamabad peaks in months of summer and starts to ease from September onwards. In the past few months it has been observed that even in the month of October many sectors including G-11, G-13, G-14 and I sectors faced shortage of water and many residents have either opted for water boring or paying hefty prices to both private and CDA water tankers.
Islamabad, both rural and urban areas combined, has a daily demand of more than 200 million gallons per day. This demand is met from Khanpur Dam, Simly Dam and various tube wells installed in and around the capital. In January 2014, a plan was made to bring water from Tarbela dam. Nothing much of it has been heard ever since. Another proposal worth 500 million dollars with assistance from the World Bank is also under consideration by authorities. The water supply mechanism of CDA is decades old and with increase in population and construction of new sectors and housing societies the old water management and procurement system is under serious stress.
It is pertinent to mention that during the tenure of former Chairman CDA Kamran Lashari, more than a decade ago, a mega project to bring water from Indus river via Tarbela Dam was approved. Once completed the project would have sorted out water woes of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi for the foreseeable future. However, the project was shelved and no plans are afoot to revive it as of yet.
‘For the past many years, the water shortage worsens during the time around the Ramzan and throughout the Ramzan citizens are left at the mercy of tank mafia and boring companies,’ said Syed Haider Ali, a finance consultant and resident of Sector G-13. Ali said that proper planning, development of infrastructure and replacing old and faulty pipelines are the only permanent solution to water woes of Islamabad.