ISLAMABAD, Jan 31 (APP): Dwellers of other cities may compare and idealize life in the federal capital, but it’s the other way around for a vast majority here.
From dawn to dusk, people living in series of F, G, I and some other sectors, rural areas and various colonies have a major problem to cope with and that is water scarcity, which becomes a nightmare in the hot months of summer.
Some describe the worsening issue of water supply as the incompetence of the water directorate, while the other think it never remained a priority on the city managers’ list in the past.
But unfortunately, it is the amalgam of many problems ranging from decades-old water supply infrastructure to lowering groundwater table. Lack of initiative to build more water reservoirs and mismanagement on the part of the officials concerned are major reasons to make this basic necessity of life ordeal.
“I have been living in the federal capital for the last couple of decades, but unfortunately, never heard of replacement of rusty pipelines, laid in the city in the late 60s to provide water to the residential area,” said a retired government employee Mustafa Aziz living in a residential Sector I-10.
He said reliance on outdated pipeline infrastructure was beyond his belief as the population in the capital city had been increased manifold, crossing two million figure in the last couple of decades.
Water, he said was the basic need of people and “Wastage from pipeline due to rotten lines was equivalent to the amount of water, produced from Simly dam alone,” he claimed.
He said it also led to increase in water-boring trend that eventually lowered the ground water table.
Another citizen from Tarali, a suburban area of Islamabad, said people in his area were forced to avail the facility through water tankers for which they had to pay hefty amount.
He said the cost of water boring was too high for a common man as in some areas water level had gone down to over 400 feet.
“And it can cost up to five hundred thousand rupees if you are lucky to find the water,” he regretted.
A citizen from Sector G-7, Ishfaq Ahmed said he was living in this area for the last many years and never faced such water shortage, but now the situation was same here as in other water-scared sectors.
He said people had to stand in long queues for almost a day to book a tanker.
When contacted, a senior officer in the Capital Development Authority said a comprehensive programme with cost of over 400 million was underway to rehabilitate supply lines, water works and treatment plants in the city.
He said over Rs 200 million had been given to the water directorate for execution of plan and currently rehabilitation work at 71 points were being carried out to fix the issue effectively.
Another officer from Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad, which had had charge of water directorate during the last couple of years, also suggested control of the leakages from supply lines as a best short-term measure to fulfill water need of residents.
She said her office in collaboration with water directorate prepared an inclusive plan to resolve the water issue once for all by taking short, medium and long term initiatives.
“Since the CDA gets water directorate charge back recently, measures are being taken to rehabilitate supply line, water works and water treatment plan,” she noted.
To a query, she said the capital needed over 150 million gallons water per day but currently only half of it was being supplied to the people from four small water reservoirs, tube wells, Simli, Khanpur and Rawal dams.
Another official of the CDA told APP that feasibility work on Ghazi Barotha project had been initiated to ensure provision of water facility to every household of the federal capital.
He said water metering system was also on the cards to control the water pilferage and leakage.