One province’s gain is another’s loss

CDA seeks to overcome water crisis through Ghazi-Barotha Dam, faces resistance from Sindh and Khyber-Phakhtunkhwa.

Peer Muhammad November 02, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is facing resistance from Sindh and Khyber-Phakhtunkhwa (K-P) in getting water supply from Ghazi-Barotha Dam.

The water supply project, estimated to cost Rs45 billion, was approved by the CDA board in 2007 to prevent future water crisis in the city. But Sindh and K-P fear that CDA’s plan to channel water from the dam will reduce their own water supply. Consequently, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has yet to allocate water supply from the dam to Islamabad.

Director General CDA Water Management Sannaullah Aman said, “After resistance from the two provinces, the issue has been taken up by the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee and a decision is expected soon.”

Under the project, Islamabad will receive 100 million gallons of water from the dam per day. The project also includes construction of filtration plants, small reservoirs and two water tunnels.

CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said, “The civic authority is trying to make the project a success as Ghazi-Barotha dam is the only long-term and viable source of water supply for Islamabad.” He said the Punjab government had also assured allocation of water to Islamabad from its own share in Ghazi-Barotha. He added that the project will also be beneficial for Rawalpindi in the future, which is one of the larger districts of Punjab.

Talking to The Express Tribune, a senior official of CDA expressed serious concern over an impending water crisis in the city given the rapid increase in population and number of sectors.

“CDA has gathered enough water from the recent heavy rains, but these reservoirs can only meet the water needs of the city for a year,” he added.

At present, Simly Dam on River Soan, Khanpur Dam on River Korang as well as tube-wells are the only sources of water supply to the capital city.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2010.


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