PUNJAB government has decided to increase the storage capacity of Rawal Dam which will cater to the growing water needs of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi has ordered to carry out a feasibility study in this regard.
Rawal Dam located in the federal capital is one of the major sources of water supply for the garrison city.
However with the passage of time and owing to the obstructions in the catchment area of the dam and rapid silting, its storage capacity stands reduced significantly.
In this context, the very decision of the provincial CM is a step in the right direction which really shows his seriousness to address the chronic problems faced by the people.
There should be no delay in completion of the feasibility study and then work on the project should be started forthwith.
The dam was built back in 1965 and we believe since then it has never been properly cleaned.
As a result, a large amount of soil and sediment has accumulated in it. The storage capacity of the dam will also increase if a proper exercise of cleaning the dam is carried out.
Then the 48 inch pipeline laid in 1979 from Rawal Dam to supply twenty eight million gallons of water to Rawalpindi has also become completely unusable.
It also needs to be overhauled as part of the expansion project. Given the water requirements which have increased due to increase in population size of both the federal capital and Rawalpindi, we will suggest both the federal and provincial governments of Punjab to envisage construction of new dams to ensure that the people of the two cities do not face the situation faced by the people of Karachi today.
During monsoon, a lot of water could be conserved in the two cities if the water reservoirs are available.
Also the underground water level has fallen to an alarming level and steps are required on a war footing to avert serious water shortage in future.
Allocations for the construction of the dams shouldthe public sector development plans and these need to be completed in the minimum possible time.