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CDA is set to tackle water shortage in Islamabad by constructing two new dams

CDA is set to tackle water shortage in Islamabad by constructing two new dams

On Wednesday, city authorities made a decision to kickstart the construction of two small dams, Shahdara and Chiniot, aimed at alleviating the water scarcity issue in Islamabad.


Moreover, it was agreed that beginning Thursday, the water supply from Simly Dam to Islamabad would be augmented by eight million gallons per day (mgd). Despite its rapid urbanization, Islamabad continues to rely on outdated water sources and reservoirs that are now insufficient to meet the city’s water needs. The total water requirement for Islamabad, encompassing both rural and urban areas, stands at approximately 250 million gallons daily (mgd), with the city’s demand alone reaching around 120 mgd. Nevertheless, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) currently provides only about 70 mgd from its three primary sources: Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam, and tubewells.


At present, Simly Dam supplies 26 mgd (set to increase to 34 mgd from today), Khanpur Dam provides approximately nine mgd, with the remaining water requirements met by tubewells and other minor sources. Chairing a meeting on the water issue, CDA Chairman Mohammad Ali Randhawa directed the relevant department to promptly commence work on Shahdara, Tarbela, Chiniot, and Khanpur dams to address the water problem permanently.


The Chiniot Dam is slated for construction in the catchment area of Simly Dam, while the Shahdara Dam will be established on the Shahdara stream. Meanwhile, a press release from the CDA disclosed that instructions had also been issued to initiate work on the Khanpur Dam and Ghazi Brotha project. The CDA and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board receive water from the Khanpur Dam via the Khanpur Canal.

During the meeting, it was revealed that approximately 40% of the water was being pilfered before reaching Islamabad’s water reservoir, known as the Sangjani Water Works. Expressing dissatisfaction over water theft from the Khanpur Dam to the Sangjani Plant Canal, the CDA chairman instructed the formulation of a proposal to tackle this issue by engaging with Wapda and other relevant organizations. The meeting also deliberated on the Ghazi Barotha project, initially proposed in 2007 to provide 100 mgd to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. However, the project’s estimated cost has significantly escalated over the years.

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In light of the summer season, the CDA chairman directed the civic body to supply an additional eight mgd of water daily from Simly Dam to residents. Additionally, the duration of water supply in densely populated sectors and areas should be extended. The CDA chief also mandated the cancellation of leaves for all water supply wing personnel and instructed them to keep the tanker service on high alert round the clock. Moreover, any complaints regarding pipeline leakages should be promptly addressed.

Furthermore, a proposal concerning the installation of solar systems at water pumping stations should be submitted within three days to redirect the substantial energy expenses towards other developmental projects in the city.