By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: In a bid to highlight the challenges of shortage and quality of water in the federal capital and other urban areas of the country, a virtual Conference of the focal group was jointly organized by the local centre of Institution of Engineers Pakistan and Karakorum International University (KIU), Gilgit Baltistan.
The detailed discussion was initiated by Vice Chancellor Karakorum International University Gilgit Baltistan Prof. Dr. Attaullah Shah and attended by Chairman IEP RIC Hafiz M Ehsanul Haq Qazi and Secretary IEP RIC Engineer Najamuddin, a senior CDA Engineer Joher Ali, Dr. Ejaz Bashir Janjua, Engr Naseer Sadiq, Engr Mazhar Saleemi from Lahore and others.
Various issues including sustainability of the current water resources, quality of water, scarcity of water, strategies of various concerned departments regarding preservation of water and affect of climatic change came under discussion during meeting.
The participants emphasized the need of taking concrete steps including construction of new water reservoirs, maintaining the underground water level, checking wastage and stealing of water in so as to conserve water.
The participants suggested that people should be advised to rely on shallow excavation of land and use of small pump for water, replacing old and dilapidated pipelines and slapping complete ban on digging of bores by illegal housing societies
On the occasion, Professor Dr. Attaullah Shah informed that they have conducted a study to meet challenges of water in Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan and various other cities and has completed mapping survey of these areas.
While referring to the challenges of water scarcity in the provincial capitals, the VC KIU informed that surveys have been conducted for the purpose. The Institution of Engineers Pakistan (Rawalpindi Islamabad centre) and Karakorum International University after detailed analysis will compile a detailed report to be submitted to CDA, Indus Water Regulatory Authority (IRSA) and to all other stake holders, he added.
Engineer Najamuddin regretted that the portable water supplying companies are extracting underground water in bulk through big underground turbines and suggested the government to take action against these companies by ensuring that their source of water supply and filtration plants is at distance from Islamabad.
Dr. Ejaz Bashir Janjua called upon frequent repairing of water supply lines to avoid possibility of seepage of sewage water. Hafiz M Ahsan ul Haq Qazi stressed the need of quality of water. He said that the water shortage problem in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad can be resolved by joint efforts of concerned departments. He further emphasized for storage of rain water for overcoming water shortage
The CDA official Engr Joher Ali said that eight new sectors are being developed in the federal capital and our focus is searching the water resources for their requirement. At least 100 Illegal housing societies in suburbs of the federal capital also add to water scarcity and there is a dire need to take serious action against them. In the end Chairman IEP RIC appreciated the Efforts of VC Karakoram international University Gilgit for having conducted the exhausted survey that lead to arranging this useful conference.