As crippling water shortage hits parts of Rawalpindi, a water supply project first proposed in 1988 is yet to see the light of day. The Daducha Dam project, if completed, will continue to meet the water requirements of the city for quite some time to come.
The Punjab government assured the Supreme Court about 16 months back that work on the dam would begin soon. Last January the then-chief secretary Punjab informed the court that the requisite notification had been published in the Punjab Gazette on November 3, 2010 to initiate survey work in the area.
But then the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) purchased the land. The resulting stand off between the DHA and the provincial government has put the project on hold, according to official sources and documents available with The Express Tribune.
About three months ago, a meeting took place between the housing secretary and DHA vice president in Rawalpindi about the future of the water reservoir near Daducha village, which falls in the areas of Kahuta, Kallar Syedan and Rawalpindi Tehsil. The DHA wanted the dam to be constructed at another nearby site and to use the current site to build another dam for its own use. The Punjab government did not budget and the stalemate continued.
Long term replacement for Rawal dam
According to a feasibility report prepared by the Small Dams Organisation, Daducha Dam was to be constructed on the Ling River on 18,566 kanals at a cost of over Rs7 billion. The water reservoir is considered a long-term replacement for Rawal Dam, which was built in 1962 and was designed to last for 50 years. The dam is considered a necessity by the Punjab government, considering the fact that Rawal Dam has been tapped out.
A Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) official said Daducha Dam will be able to supply 25 million gallons daily (MGD) to Rawalpindi city and its cantonment areas, and serve as a reliable source of drinking water for the next 50 years.
The actual demand for drinking water in the city is 58 MGD, however the current supply is around 43 MGD, leaving a shortfall of 15 MGD.
DHA Secretary Colonel Ijaz Hussain said he is not in a position to update the media on the issue as it is an official mater.
Attempts to contact Housing Secretary Mirza Sohail Amir, who is also Punjab’s acting chief secretary, remained unfruitful as no responses were received via telephone or text message.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.
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