RAWALPINDI: The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) is facing budgetary constraints to acquire land for the establishment of a water filtration plant and ancillary works that will ensure the supply of water from the Chahan dam to the garrison town.
On the other hand, the agency has started work on setting up the Project Management Unit (PMU) for the laying of a water supply pipeline that will bring in six million gallons of water per day (MGD) from Chahan Dam to Garrison Town.
The PMU is needed to execute and monitor the project.
The agency has solicited applications to appoint the project manager and other officials, but it will not start land acquisition at this time due to the slow funding of the project by the Punjab government. Meanwhile, experts were of the opinion that the project will not start in the current year.
Amount released by Punjab not enough to start work, says official
The Chahan dam is almost complete but the works have still not been initiated to bring 6 MGD of water.
The provincial government released 800 million rupees for the establishment of the PMU, but did not release funds for land acquisition. He had approved the project worth Rs 5.3 billion in December 2018.
The Chahan Dam, located near Chakri, is being constructed by the Punjab government on the Sill Kus River and is 22 km from the garrison town.
A senior Wasa official told Dawn that the provincial government released 250 million rupees in the financial year 2020 and 200 million rupees in 2021, but that was insufficient to start work.
He said 150 canals would be acquired for which 650 million rupees was needed, adding that land acquisition would likely start in the next financial year.
He said that according to the plan, an intake chamber would be built at Chahan, a filtration plant at Chakri and a pumping station at Ranyal. He said 80 canals would be needed for the filtration plant and 35 canals each at Ranyal and Chakri.
He said the union councils that would benefit from the water supply from the Chahan Dam are Dhamial, Chakra, Girja, Chak Jalaldin 1 and 2, Dhama Syedan, Kilial and Lakhan.
The official said the cost of the project is expected to increase from Rs 6 billion to Rs 8 billion as the construction cost has increased and the rates for all government projects have increased by 25%.
He said the revised PC-I will be submitted to the planning and development department for final approval, adding that the agency has completed its homework in this regard.
According to official figures, the current water demand of the city of around 1.5 million people was 50 MGD. The city relies mainly on the Rawal and Khanpur dams in addition to groundwater drawn from 440 tube wells.
The total extraction from these springs is 37 MGD (21 from tubewells and 16 MGD from dams).
When contacted, Wasa spokesman Umer Farooq said the agency had prepared the plan to bring water from the Chahan dam to overcome the shortage in the union councils of the defunct city. from Potohar.
He said that after the establishment of the PMU, the works would start and be completed at the earliest.
Posted in Dawn, August 30, 2022