Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar on Tuesday laid the foundation of the ‘Aab-e-Pak’ project under which 116 filtration plants to be installed in the Rawalpindi division to provide clean drinking water to the citizens.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarwar said that the promise of providing clean drinking water to the people was going to be fulfilled.
“The Aab-e-Pak Authority would install filtration plants in four districts of the division including Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal at a cost of Rs 270 million,” the governor said adding that “We will provide clean drinking water to the people with no political discrimination as the filtration plants would also be installed in the constituencies of the members of the opposition parties.”
He said that the government was making all-out efforts to provide basic facilities to the people and the project would ensure the provision of clean drinking water and the residents, particularly of rural areas, would have access to clean drinking water, he added.
“My dream of providing clean drinking water to my people came true through this project,” he said adding that “If I find out that any person of Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority has taken or given commission and bribe, he will be punished.”
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“I also thank Prime Minister Imran Khan for giving me the responsibility of provision of potable water to people of Punjab,” he said. He also thanked Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Bazdar, Minister for Law Raja Muhammad Basharat, Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and all members of the Punjab Assembly who played an important role in getting the legislation on Aab-e-Pak Authority passed.
He said that “We have received Rs 1.4 billion for Aab-e-Pak Authority and the first phase of the project under Aab-e-Pak Authority to install 1,500 filtration plants in Punjab would cost Rs 4.5 billion with an expenditure of Rs3 million per filtration plant.
He further said, “We still need to work hard and every single member of Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority will have to play his role with utmost honesty. We are trying to make Aab-e-Pak Authority an institution that could deliver to future generations like Rescue-1122 that proved its efficiency and emerged as a respectable institution of Punjab.
“The Aab-e-Pak Authority has a dedicated team and by the end of December this year, nearly 7.6 million people would get clean drinking water under the project. He said that had some people in the bureaucracy of Punjab not created hurdles, the project would have started a year and a half ago.
“If I am responsible for the provision of clean drinking water to the people of Punjab, then it is my responsibility to tell the people about whatever hinders it,” he said.
Chaudhry Sarwar, who is also the Patron-in-Chief of Aab-e-Pak Authority, said that billions of rupees were spent on providing clean drinking water to the people during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf and other governments, including PML-N, but not a single filtration plant is functional today. He said that during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf vast amount of Rs 20 billion were spent on the ‘clean drinking water for all project and several schemes had been completed in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and other areas but, unfortunately, all were today dysfunctional.
“The Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority would also have billions of rupees in funds, but I assure the nation that I will not allow anyone to take or give a commission in any project.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2021.
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