The Punjab government has approved Rs650 million for the installation of tube-wells along the Islamabad Expressway to overcome water shortage issues in six densely populated union councils of Rawalpindi.
Initially, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) will install six tube-wells along the Islamabad Expressway to overcome the water shortage issue in six union councils in Potohar Town.
The tube-wells will supply water to Shakriyal East and West, Khanna Dak, Khanna Kak, Chaklala, Dhok Munshi and Gangal.
Earlier, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the WASA for the installation of 15 tube-wells on the Islamabad Expressway to overcome water shortages in various areas of Rawalpindi.
The project was earlier rolled back by the former Hamza Shahbaz-led Punjab government. The current provincial government expedited work on the project by approving Rs650 million
According to a survey, a huge reservoir of underground water is available in the green area from Koral Chowk to Zia Masjid. Official sources said pipelines will be laid from tube-wells in the green areas to the UCs for the water supply.
The tube-wells will be installed in three months and the pipelines in six to nine months to supply water from the installed tube-wells, officials said.
Earlier, a dispute surfaced between the WASA and CDA over the project. However, the matter was subsequently settled through negotiation as the CDA allowed the WASA to install tube-wells in areas falling under its limits.
Former Federal Parliamentary Secretary Sheikh Rashid Shafiq confirmed to The Express Tribune that the Punjab government has now revived the project and the Rawalpindi commissioner has been issued instructions to call tenders and start work on the project on an immediate basis.
After the completion of the project, water problems of various densely populated UCs of NA-60 will be resolved forever, he said.
Under the NOC issued by the CDA, the tube wells would provide 50 per cent of water to the existing supply network within the Islamabad Capital Territory limits.
The CDA, the ICT and the WASA will jointly monitor the tube wells. The NOC further said that in case of drought because of the depleting groundwater level in the CDA limits, the WASA will be obliged to rehabilitate the tube-wells, installed by the CDA, at its own cost.
The site for the installation of 15 tube-wells will be jointly determined by the ICT, the CDA and the WASA, the NOC said. If the Islamabad Expressway is expanded in the future, the tube-wells will be removed, according to the NOC.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2022.
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