RAWALPINDI: Like the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the hill station of Murree is also facing a shortage of water. To resolve this crisis, the government is working on building a bulk water supply scheme which would see water supplied to the tourist destination from the Jhelum River.
Around 80 per cent of the earth and protection work on the project, has been completed.
This was disclosed by Rawalpindi Commissioner Jodat Ayaz in a meeting on the water supply scheme.
At the moment, he said, Murree requires 3.13 million gallons of water every day to meet its daily requirements. The new water supply project, though, will bring some 5.5 million gallons of water a day to the hill station.
Ayaz added that the overall project includes the construction of a water treatment plant, a pumping station which can pump around 1,750 million gallons of water, seven water pumping stages, 33 pumps, an eight-kilometre-long water transmission line from the treatment plant to Dhand and another 21.5 km-long water transmission line from Dhand to Murree.\
A 6.29km road from intake to Chaprian and repair of the existing track and the provision of nine megawatts of power.
Ayaz said that they have bought the pipes which will be used in the project while the cement and mortar lining of the pipes has been completed as well.
All ongoing and new development schemes in Rawalpindi have ground to a complete halt after the Punjab government failed to issue funds.
While the government stopped giving money to the local government, it had announced that provincial lawmakers of the ruling party will be provided Rs100 million each for development works in their respective constituencies. But the projects seem to have been shelved since no funds were released for them over the past two months. Hence, no tenders were released.
The situation has also perturbed the lawmakers themselves, who have sought refuge in the provincial capital of Lahore to avoid answering questions of their constituents.
Contractors across the district visit the offices of the municipal department, the Public Works Department (PWD), District Accounting Offices and the local government offices for their funds to be released to no avail.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT BY QAISER SHERAZI
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2019.