Crisis approaching: IMC to ensure water supply in summer

Plan approved to replace conventional streetlights with LEDs, food courts to be outsourced

Our Correspondent March 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: With the water level in the Mangla Dam, one of the main sources of water for the capital and adjoining areas, at the dead level on Friday, the local government of the capital decided to allocate more money to ensure uninterrupted supply of water in the upcoming summer season.

This was agreed upon during a session of the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) which was held at the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre. Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz chaired the thinly attended session.

The house reviewed the situation of water availability in the city and it was stressed that there should be better management of the city’s meagre water resources, adding that necessary funds should be allocated for ensuring uninterrupted supply of water in the summer.

Local government representatives were of the view that funds for supplying water should be arranged from the IMC’s kitty.

Aziz accepted the demand and assured the members that the council will be briefed about the allocation of funds for water supply in the next meeting of the house.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the IMC Ali Nawaz Awan pointed out to the dire water supply situation in the capital. He said that of the 190 tube wells installed in the city, only 154 tube wells were working. Moreover, of the 34 water tankers of IMC, only were 17 plying the roads.

LED street lights

During the session, a summary was submitted for replacing all conventional (sulphur-based) street lights with LED lights in a phase-wise manner.

The document showed that there are as many as 36,050 street lights in the capital which are connected with cables running for 2,000 kilometres.

The operational expenditures in terms of salary for street light staff per year were approximately Rs78 million while electricity charges for these lights come to an additional Rs780 million. Further Rs10 million is spent on storage of associated material. Renovation, repairs and rehabilitation cost Rs100 million, while maintenance of operation vehicles bill up to Rs5 million.

The house was told that due to the electricity inefficiency of these lights, the city government was burdened with a massive power bill. Replacing these bulbs with efficient LEDs through an Energy Management Contracting (EMC) mechanism would help lower that bill by at least 50 per cent.

The members were told that all the upfront investment in the project would be fulfilled through the EMC. The IMC can then, in turn, pay the EMC firm the energy savings they make over a certain pre-determined period after the installation of the lights and reviewing the performance of the lights.

The EMC firm will also maintain lights and even replace LED lights or components which have already been installed at no additional cost to the IMC.

The house subsequently approved the measure to replace conventional streetlights with LED in phases.

Citizen Club renamed

During the session, members also approved the renaming of the Citizen Club, located in Sector F-9 Park, as the Metropolitan Corporation Club.

Moreover, they decided to appoint a legal and financial consultant for the club.

The meeting also approved to outsource the Multiple Sports club in Sector F-6 Markaz by advertising the move in accordance with PPRA rules.

Outsourcing food courts

In a bid to generate revenue for the metropolitan corporation, the house also deliberated over an additional agenda point —outsourcing of food courts and shops at the Lake View Park.

They approved a move to outsource the food courts at the park after advertising for it in accordance with the PPRA rules.

However, members emphasised that details of shops and other facilities must be shared with the house before they are outsourced. Moreover, they should get to have a say before the Terms of References (TORs) for the outsourcing is finalised.

During the meeting, a report on increasing the property tax and water charges was also presented.
After a detailed discussion, it was decided that the report’s recommendations may be made more effective.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2018.


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