The answer to the capital’s burgeoining water demand, according the city bosses, lies only in the Ghazi-Barotha project. Speaking at the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat session on Thursday, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi highlighted the significance of the project in resolving the issue of water scarcity in Islamabad.
The Senate committee meeting was held at the Parliament House where Elahi briefed the Senators about the progress being made on the project. He said that a consensus had been developed among the provinces on the project. “The issue was taken up in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting recently and the only hurdle now is the reservations of Punjab over the project, Elahi said.
The Senate body chairman, Senator Shahid Bugti, was supportive of the CDA’s cause. “Islamabad being a capital city is common for all and we would want early solution to the problem of water shortage,” he said.
The estranged ruling Pakistan People’s Party senator, Safdar Abbasi, asked the CDA chairman to give special attention to low-lying areas, including the sector G-7/1 where water scarcity has become a permanent issue. Many people come to me daily with the complaints that CDA was not supplying water to them. CDA officials, on the other hand, held water shortage and topography of the ‘G’ sector as main reasons behind the problem.
Water to the residents of Sector G-7/1 is supplied from the tubewells located in National Park Area.
CDA’s Water Management chief Sanaullah Aman said that sometimes the supply of the commodity to the area is affected due to unscheduled loadshedding and mechanical fault at the tubewells or at pumping stations.
In such cases water is supplied through tanker service, he said. He claimed that at present the supply of water to the residents of G-7/1 sector is normal due to the decrease in the duration of power outages in the area. Refuting this claim, Naeem Abbasi, a resident of G-7/1 told The Express Tribune that the talk about “steady water supply in the area is devoid of reality”.
Another resident said water tanker service is meant for those who have relations with city managers or influential people. “Today I lodged a complaint with the CDA that water was not available even for ablution at his home but even then the tanker could not reach till the intervention of a top CDA official,” he lamented.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2011.