Water shortage: IMC devises short-term plan to tackle crisis

Will plug leaks, repair trucks, boost supply from Simly dam

Our Correspondent December 07, 2016
Lubna Bokhari, Director General National Water Quality Laboratory, PCRWR said that there is a shortage of funds for R&D and the amount allocated is too meagre. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: With the capital getting less than half of its water supply, the local government has decided to increase the number of water tankers and clamp down on leaks to tackle the crisis in urban areas.

Addressing a news briefing in the capital on Wednesday, Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) Chief Officer Muhammad Suleman Warriach said that they had devised a short-term plan to address the issue.

“Total domestic and industrial requirement for water in Islamabad’s urban areas is 125 million gallons per day. However, the city currently gets only 50mgd with a deficit of 75 mgd,” Warriach said while providing details of the water supply problem.

He did not offer any information about shortages and requirements in the rural areas of the capital.

Warriach added that there were three main sources of water in Islamabad, including Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and 192 tube wells.

“Peak supply from Simly Dam is 39 mg/d, but these days it has shrunk to just 25 mg/d. Khanpur Dam can supply 16 mg/d but current supply is just eight million gallons per day,” the official said, adding that of the three motors installed at the dam in 1998, only one motor is functional.

“The 192 tube wells are the third source of water supply in federal capital of which 120 are functional but 72 are out of order,” CMO said. He added that 10 to 12 tube wells were worn out while remaining 60 tube wells can supply only 32 mg/d. However, supply from these tube wells these days was only 8 mg/d. Despite the supply, around 15 per cent of water is lost due to leakages in pipelines.

To address the problem, Warriach said that the IMC had decided to plug these leaks immediately. In this regard, he said that the IMC had requested CDA to give the city government a loan.

Since only 16 tankers in IMC’s fleet of 33 water trucks were functional, the local government said that they had directed relevant section to repair 13 tankers as soon as possible.

“We will have 35 tankers available within a week,” he hoped.

Moreover, he said that they would try to boost supply from Simly dam by nine mg/d. This water would be supplied to the worst-hit areas including Sectors G-11, G-9/2, G-10, I-10 and Margalla Town.

In this regard, a help line was established which would work round the clock to assist the public in supplying water through dedicated tankers seven days a week.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2016.


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