WASA moves for pipeline replacement

Pilot project to be initiated in Johar Town

Afzal Talib April 03, 2024
WASA workers pump out rainwater accumulated at Committee Chowk in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


Because of paucity of funds, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has decided to replace the sewerage and water supply lines in the city under its Master Plan 2050 in phases.

The plan is aimed at building water tanks, supplying clean water to the citizens round the clock and provide better sewerage facilities. However, the water connections will be metered and billed accordingly.

According to officials, the pilot project for replacing the pipelines will be launched in Johor Town, which will initially cover 200 residential and commercial areas.

The city has been divided into 140 zones for implementing the master plan.

The officials said the water and sewerage pipelines laid in Lahore a long time ago had completed their viable age. Because of the dilapidated pipelines, residents of most parts of the city complain of being supplied unclean water.

In view of the funding constraints, temporary replacement and repair of the pipelines was carried out at some places, but the problems kept increasing.

A survey conducted by WASA for laying the new sewerage and water supply lines across the city showed that it would cost billions of rupees.

The Punjab government is not in a position to provide the civic agency such a huge amount.

In view of the situation, WASA has launched a short-term project. The civic agency has proposed to reduce the areas under its control under the master plan. The area has been divided into nine towns and 140 zones.

The project will be implemented in phases.

The sources said the replacement of the pipelines in Johar Town had been designated as a pilot project, which will initially cover 200 residential and commercial areas.

All sewerage and water supply lines in the areas will be replaced and large water tanks will also be built.

After the completion of the project, drinking water will be available to the residents of the areas round the clock. At present, the citizens get water supply three times a day for 10 hours.

The pilot project also includes the installation of water meters at every residential and commercial premises so that the consumption can be billed proportionately.

A state-of-the-art system will be installed by WASA, under which the water will be released from the tube wells, reach the tanks and from there it will reach homes and commercial consumers. The whole flow will be fully accounted for.

The officials expect that with the termination of illegal connections, the complaints of water theft will also decrease.

The pilot project will initially cost more than Rs120 million.

After the success of the pilot project, the plan will be implemented in other areas as the funds are provided.

The master plan is aimed at providing clean water and sewerage facilities to the citizens in a phased manner throughout the city.

The final approval of the project will be given by the Punjab government.

WASA Managing Director Ghufran Ahmed said the underground sewerage and water supply lines in the city were very old but despite this the agency was providing the services by utilising the available resources.

He said a huge amount was required to replace the sewerage and supply lines across the city. It is difficult for the provincial government to immediately release the required funds, so a phased project has been planned.

As soon as the project is approved by the Punjab government and the funds are available, WASA will start the work, the official added, stressing that the problems of providing clean water and sewerage facilities to the citizens would be solved.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2024.


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