The capital city’s water woes

Zahid Gishkori July 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Two top officials in the Capital Development Authority (CDA), unable to curtail the capital’s water crisis, were suspended on Tuesday.

Deputy Director Electrical and Mechanical Syed Badshah was dismissed after being held responsible for the delayed repair work on more than 60 water tube wells, which make up about a third of the 187 tube wells at CDA’s disposal. The remaining 127 functional tube wells contribute about 16 million (41 per cent) of the 39 million gallons of water supplied daily to the capital.

Director Water Management Jabir Khan was suspended due to his inability to manage the water crisis in the city. Shahid Khan has been appointed in his place.

A number of sectors including I-9, I-10, G-6, G-7, G-8 and G-9 have been facing extreme water shortages ever since summer started.

Sources inside the CDA said that Chairperson Imtiaz Inayat Elahi took the decision without summoning any meeting of the CDA Board.

Explaining his decision, Elahi told The Express Tribune, “I visited Sector I-10 after receiving water-shortage complaints. I found out who the officers responsible for this mess were and suspended them.”

The two officials claimed that the CDA Board was equally responsible for the water crisis as it had never called a single meeting to discuss the issue.

“We are going to hold a meeting to discuss the water issue on Wednesday,” Elahi added. The chairperson also reiterated CDA’s commitment to replace old water pipelines in order to minimise water leakage. A senior CDA official, on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that about 40 per cent of the water supplied to Islamabad is wasted due to leakage.

CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid said that the civic body had approached Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) with a plan to curtail the water crisis in the capital. The plan, Express Feeders, would have enabled CDA to run 25 new tube wells round-the-clock, which would have helped with the water shortage. He added that CDA was prepared to pay IESCO Rs6.3 million for the project but the electricity company showed no interest.

The Director General of Water Management Cell at the Ministry of Agriculture, Tahir Anwar, said that CDA needed to come up with a new plan for the supply of water to Islamabad. “This is a very serious issue and it needs to be taken up immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile the residents of Islamabad have expressed extreme dissatisfaction over CDA’s performance. Hammad Ali, a senior citizen, alleged that people had installed a number of illegal connections to steal water and that CDA had failed to stop them.

Ali also quoted a study published by a local NGO Sahil, which estimates that sector G-6 needs more than 1 million gallons of water daily but is only supplied about 70,000 gallons any given day. Residents have to meet the shortage by hiring private water tankers.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2010.


Malik Saif | 11 years ago | Reply Assalam o Alaikum WRB, I suggest CDA to take the following measures; Make it compulsory for all the residents of Islamabad to use the float valves in their under ground tanks, this will reduce the wastage of water, and will help in provision of water to those houses which are at some height and face the problem of low pressure of water supply. Announce the proper timing (morning or in the evening not at night) for water supply. Obviously if people know the timing of water of supply, the water taps would not remain open unintentionally. Surprise visits of the residential sectors by the CDA's high rank officers to check for the wastage of water. Fining the residents indulged in the wastage of water would surely help a lot. Regards M.Saif ur Rehman
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