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Water shortage hits city, cantonment areas

After long time, the situation of water in Rawalpindi areas is not satisfactory and the concerned civic bodies are finding it really hard to ensure smooth supply of water thus creating problems for the people in the scorching heat of summer.

Though officials of the civic bodies give positive replies on this matter however, according to credible sources in Chaklala Cantonment Board, the situation of water would remain severe for another two months or more as the level of water in dams has fallen considerably, making hard to meet the demand of its supply to the consumers.

According to another reliable source, water problem has aroused due to suspension of its supply to civic bodies Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) by Capital Development Authority (CDA) due to non-payment of funds shared by them for the 3rd phase of Khanpur Dam project.

However, RCB official spokesman, secretary, Qaisar Mahmood refuted the claims of the sources saying that the problem of water shortage persist because of fault developed in the two of motors out of three at Sangjani connecting Khanpur Dam. Briefing Qaiser Mahmood who is also media coordinator told this scribe that a month back fault had developed in two motors of Sangjani water plant which were rectified at a cost of Rs1.2 million on each motor. After the repair work was completed it was found that proper work on them was not conducted as the water motors were not operating satisfactorily. But after further repairs, the motors at Sangjani water plant are now in working in order and the supply work to the consumers has also improved over the last one week or more, he said. The RCB has received funds of Rs19 million with the efforts of MNA Malik Abrar for installation of 19 filtration plants in different wards of RCB, Qaisar Mahmood said.

Similarly, RCB is also providing water to the consumers through 57 tubewells as well. However, he agreed that the level of underground water has fallen considerably over the years due to dry weather and shortfall of rains in Monsoon seasons. Despite this fact we are able to meet the demand of water in RCB wards. In some areas water supply remains affected due to power loadshedding, he claimed.

However, one member of RCB, Haji Zafar Iqbal along with others agreed that water problem has become an issue in Rawalpindi which needs to be worked out.

Similarly, vice president of CCB, Raja Mohammad Irfan said that the condition of water is not good and the people are suffering badly. He agreed that level of water in dams have fallen to dead levels making it hard for the civic body to meet the demand of its supply to the consumers. Further due to shortage of water bowsers with CCB , supply to the consumers through this source is also being achieved hardly. At present the CCB has only 3 water bowsers for supplying water to hundreds of its consumers. There is great need to purchase water bowsers for improving the supply condition to the consumers through this sources, he stressed. Moreover, unscheduled power suspensions by Iesco have further aggravated the water supply condition in several parts of Chaklala cantonments, he said.

Official spokesman for Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), Umar Farooq while commenting on the condition of water described normal in Rawalpindi city. “We have enough water in Rawal Dam which would cater the need for another three to four months even if there are no rains , he said. Though we are getting 10 million gallons of water share from Khanpur out of 12 million gallons yet the demand of water supply is being met without any difficulty. Water supply is made through 400 tube wells which are functioning in union councils. However, the unscheduled power suspensions create hindrance in supplying water to the consumers, he said. If power suspension is done in scheduled manner and not for long breaks and with long durations then the problem of water supply through tubewells would also not occur. However, Wasa has enhanced the timing of water supply to the consumers from 8 hours to 10 hours a day for catering their need, the spokesman added.

He stressed upon the need of construction of more dams to avert water crisis in next 10 to 12 years. Similarly, work on the project of Indus Water Treaty should be intensified for overcoming the problem of water in the country.

Ahmad, Saeed. Water shortage hits city, cantonment areas. The News, May 17, 2017.

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