The Punjab government plans to turn the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) into a company, as it did in converting the Solid Waste Management department into the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC), The Express Tribune has learnt.
Government officials recently started a dialogue with the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) to see how its experience in institutional reform, operation and maintenance of water and sewerage systems, surface water treatment and wastewater treatment could inform the restructuring of Wasa.
Wasa’s responsibilities include operation and maintenance of sewerage, drainage and water supply systems and planning, design and construction of new systems.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Lahore city administration signed a cooperation protocol in October 2011. An additional protocol was signed after an ISKI delegation visited Lahore and a government delegation from Lahore visited Turkey in September this year.
The goals of the additional cooperation protocol are to develop cooperation in the development and maintenance of water supply systems, wastewater treatment, storm water drainage and customer services.
The Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department initiated a summary for the establishment of a Strategic Cooperation Unit at a cost of Rs192 million for this purpose, but the Planning and Development Department and Finance Department rejected the proposal, an official said.
Both departments thought there was no need for such a unit and all the functions could be performed by Wasa. They also argued that setting up the unit would cost too much and be an unnecessary financial burden.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2013.
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