Govt takes notice of water scarcity in twin cities

Mohammad Arshad

Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform has taken notice of the situation and desired all possible initiatives may be taken to restore and preserve the quality of water in twin cities
Water scarcity has emerged as a thorny challenge for the government and society in Pakistan. Inadequate rainfalls and reduced glacial melt has decreased the amount of stored water and two major reservoirs are just a notch above the dead level. The situation is apprehended to aggravate until a good amount of precipitation is received in Monsoon.
Water related issues in federal capital Islamabad are twofold as deteriorating quality of water coupled with scarcity is exerting adverse impacts on public health. Once gushing freshwater streams have now turned into wastewater channels due to inadequate treatment capability putting general health conditions in the city at risk.
In this regard, Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform has taken notice of the situation and desired all possible initiatives may be taken to restore and preserve the quality of water in twin cities.
He directed that all ongoing projects/schemes pertaining to water supply and sanitation may be expedited for accrual of intended benefits and to ensure compliance with the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding countrywide strive for water security and public health.
In this connection, Senior Chief (Technical), Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform coordinated a meeting on 21st June, 2018 with relevant agencies of twin cities. Higher level officers of MCI, CDA, WASA Rawalpindi, P&D Department, Punjab and other agencies participated in the meeting. Technical issues pertaining to water supply and sanitation were discussed and it was agreed that all ongoing schemes will be expedited.
A consensus was forged that all developer giants should pay the cost/tax of water usage based on the covered area in line with “Polluter Pays Principle”. Similarly, high riser buildings and farmhouses should also be made responsible for paying the requisite amount. In this regard, necessary steps will be taken and legislatures will be requested to promulgate the law.

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