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Rawalpindi, Chaklala cantonments may face acute water shortage

As feared, the residents of areas under the jurisdiction of Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) and Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) would face scarcity of water by 50 per cent during this summer, as the water quantity at the main source — Rawal Dam — is not up to the level for meeting the demand.

Official sources told ‘The News’ in reply to a question here Monday that the problem of water shortage would certainly occur this summer, as the Capital Development Authority has recently lessened the share of water supply from the Rawal Lake to RCB and CCB by three million gallons. According to the sources, CDA enforced this plan, as the water level in Rawal Dam is not up to the mark to meet the demand.

The total water share to RCB and CCB is 12 million gallons per day (mgd). However, out of this, only 9mgd had been supplied to the two civic bodies that has recently been curtailed off by another 3mgd, making the net water supply to only 6mgd, which is not enough to meet the water demand.

The overall demand of water required in the two cantonments is more than 45mgd, however, besides all measures taken over the last decade, only 22mgd water is being supplied to the two cantonments. Besides that, the RCB and CCB have been receiving their share of 3mgd from Khanpur Dam, 9mgd from Rawal Dam and the remaining water is being supplied from tube-wells. The sources further revealed that even the tube-wells are non-functional, failing to fulfil the demand, as the level of underground water has fallen considerably.

The water crisis had been predicted and feared a decade ago and the departments concerned had been stressing for the construction of dams to avert it. Though a number of projects like Chirah Dam, Daducha Dam, etc, were announced for enforcement, however, due to one reason or the other, none have been implemented.

Engineer Water Department Riaz expressed his unawareness over the matter, saying that it is not under his intimation that the water scarcity problem would occur this year. However, Chief Executive Officer Khurshid Ali said that the Military Lands & Cantonments director general would hold negotiations with CDA shortly to resolve the matter to avoid any such situation of water shortage in the upcoming summer season.

Moreover, measures are being adopted to improve the water supply system through tankers during the time of crisis, adding that in response to the complaints of over charging by the boozer staff, he has directed them to charge water rates according to the prices fixed.

Source: The News

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