ISLAMABAD: France has shown interest in funding Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Rs 6 billion project to up-grade decades old water supply system, an official told Daily Times on Tuesday.

He said due to shortage of funds CDA had sent a summary to Economic Affairs Division (EAD) a month ago to arrange a donor for its water supply system up-gradation project. The EAD approached different donors and France showed interest to fund the project, he said.

The official said the EDA had informed CDA in this regard and now EAD and the government of France would finalise terms of conditions.

He said earlier the relevant directorate of CDA had planned to start work on the project in 2009 and complete it in 2012 on Engineering Planning and Construction (EPC) basis, but paucity of funds was a hindrance. “Replacement of water supply network in a developed city like Islamabad is not an easy task, therefore the CDA’s board has decided to execute the project on EPC basis through an international firm, he said.

Around 60 percent of the available water goes waste due to leakage of decades old water supply lines and non-judicious use of water, he said, adding, the replacement of existing water supply network would control leakage of water. He said the capital city would have to face water shortage in future if the authority would not upgrade the existing network, as the CDA had planned to develop some new residential sectors.

He said the up-gradation of water supply network was imperative, as the CDA shelved Ghazi Barotha Water Supply project when the government did not allocate any funds for it in budget 2008-09 Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

He said the CDA had conducted the feasibility study of the project therefore the government needed to make allocation for the project and solve other issues related to it.

The official said before announcement of budget 2008-2009, the CDA high-ups had claimed that they would make major allocations for the replacement of water supply network and in this regard they directed water supply directorate to prepare a plan to up-graded the system.

Sources said before the announcement of current year budget the CDA’s relevant directorate had prepared a plan, but the authority’s finance directorate failed to allocate funds for the project. Later, the CDA had sent the project to EAD to arrange fund for it, he said.

Source: Daily Times