The CDA chairman has asked us to raise the issue with the Punjab government,” Sardar Khan Zimri, Deputy Director General (DDG) of the Water Management Department. He said that he performed a feasibility assessment for the dam in the 1980s but took no action to build the reservoir.
Mr Zimri stated that will complete construction work in two years when all legalities were fulfilled. The proposed dam will add roughly 20 million gallons of water per day (mgd) to the system. Officials claim a proposed reservoir upstream of the Simly Dam will add 20 million gallons per day to the system.
When asked why a dam was built near Simly Dam, he explained that they would utilise the reservoir to store water during rainy seasons. “It will be a feeder dam because during the monsoon we open the spillways of Simly Dam, but after the little dam is built, instead of squandering water, we will store it to deal with the city’s water shortage,” he said.
Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, according to CDA authorities, presided over a meeting to examine water-related initiatives. The delegates discussed the Ghazi Barotha project, which will provide 100 mgd water to Islamabad and Rawalpindi. However, once work begins, this project will take more than five years to complete. The project will cost more than Rs100 billion to complete.
According to officials, the CDA chairman recommended that instead of focusing on the Ghazi Barotha project, the CDA should look at modest projects that would add around 30 million gallons per day to the system, sufficient to address shortages in the coming years. The chairman reviewed the planned dam study and instructed the engineering wing and the water management directorate to send a letter to the Punjab government.
He also stated that he would ask the Punjab government to enable the CDA to use its land for construction. The chairman of the CDA also ordered the DDG to develop working documents for the Shahdara and Noorpur water reservoirs, both of which can supply the CDA with roughly eight million gallons per day.
ACCORDING TO THE MEETING, the CDA would also dig 23 wells into storing rainfall, which will restore Islamabad’s subsurface water level. Islamabad is a water-scarce city, as the civic body has been unable to add water from any new source to the system over the last few decades. Finally, after more than two decades, the CDA could reclaim two million gallons of water from Rawal Dam the previous year.
The CDA currently gets 60 million gallons per day from three primary sources: Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam, and tube-wells. But, according to CDA’s research, the actual demand for the entire capital is 220 mgd. Since 2008, the CDA has been debating and holding meetings over the massive Ghazi Barotha Project.
“This project is intended to be a long-term solution to the problem. However, no one knows when this project will begin or end. Therefore, instead of relying solely on it, the time has come to look into other options for dealing with the water shortage,” said a CDA engineer. He believes that, in addition to the Chinoyot and Shahdara dams, the CDA should look into the possibility of building small dams in the Margalla Hills.
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