ISLAMABAD: With the water reservoirs in and around the capital reaching critical levels, local government representatives put their heads together to deliberate ways to overcome the ongoing water crisis in the city.
The Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) met for its 25th session at the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre on Tuesday with Deputy Mayor Azam Khan in the chair. Council members continued deliberations over water shortage in the city.
This was the third consecutive session of the local government in a short span — convened on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The apex court in a suo moto case had directed IMC to submit suggestions before a committee to resolve water scarcity in the capital. The IMC’s recommendations will then be submitted to a committee, constituted by the Supreme Court, for resolving the water shortage in the capital.
On Tuesday, IMC members suggested some short and long-term measures to overcome water scarcity in the capital.
While trading harsh words, members on both the treasury and opposition benches agreed that there was a need for installing new tube wells in each union council.
Opposition Leader Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Ali Nawaz held the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and IMC of failing to resolve the water crisis in the city. Over the past two and half years, he said that the civic administrators of the city had only installed two new tube wells in the capital — which showed just how serious the IMC and CDA were about resolving the issue.
To address the problem in the short-term, he suggested that at least two water tankers should be given to each union council to supply water while union council chairmen should be empowered to handle the water issue.
Nawaz lamented that for a city of over 2.2 million people, the CDA only had 34 water tankers with half of them out of order. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) UC Chairman Sardar Methab expressed his concerns over the performance of CDA’s water directorate. He alleged that a mafia operated in the water directorate which had been creating an artificial shortage of water.
The Chief Metropolitan Offer (CMO) Syed Najaf Iqbal explained that they were trying to secure around Rs1.6 billion from the federal government to build new projects to solve the water crisis.
IMC members though demanded the constructions of small dams in the capital to help resolve the water crisis.
IMC Deputy Mayor Syed Zeeshan Naqvi opined that it was possible to set up a number of small rubber dams on the Margalla Hills to harvest rainwater and help resolve the water crisis.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2018.