01
Apr
07

Water supply to Islamabad under threat

The inordinate delay in the construction of Islamabad Murree Dual Carriageway is causing sedimentation to the Simly and Rawal dams, lowering the capacity of the reservoirs to store water for the Pakistani twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Heavy amount of boulders, rocks and pebbles falling into the dams has endangered the existence of the reservoirs as the authorities concerned have failed to construct check dams along the under-construction carriageway.

The 43-km-long carriageway from Satra Meel toll plaza to Lower Topa was initiated by the Nawaz Sharif government in September 1999 at a cost of Rs4,815m. So far, 60 per cent work has been done on the project which was to complete in 22 months. However, the National Highway Authority (NHA) says the road will be completed in December this year. Due to delay in the work, the cost of the project has increased by 100 per cent. When a project is launched in the hilly areas, check dams are constructed to stop the slippage of loose construction material from the site.

However, despite the passage of over seven years the departments concerned could not make arrangements to check the sliding of sediments into the two water reservoirs.
When contacted, a spokesman for the NHA said the irrigation department had constructed five check dams on the nullah falling into the Rawal Lake three years after the launch of the carriageway project.

They said the NHA had provided Rs41 million to the department for the construction of the check dams in 2002. He said the Simly dam directorate of the CDA was provided with the estimated amount of Rs5 million for the check dams.

The CDA did not start work on the check dams for two years and then demanded Rs55 millions on the ground that the cost of the project had increased during the period.
The NHA paid it the first instalment of Rs16.83 million and promised that the rest of the money would be paid with the completion of the check dams. However, the CDA has still not started work on the project.

Source: The Peninsula Qatar

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