ISLAMABAD - Provision of water to the residents of the capital is not on the priority list for the Capital Development Authority, as it has failed to allocate a substantial amount in its budget for year 2018-19, to overhaul the existing water supply system in the city.

The CDA Board, a day earlier, had approved Rs.40.53 billion budget for the financial year 2018-19. The total outlay of budget is 6 percent more than the last financial year but there is no allocation for providing sufficient water to the citizens. The residents of the capital have been facing water shortage since long and the authority is required to improve the existing infrastructure. The residents suffer more in the summer season when household demand for the commodity increases and the supply decreases to almost half of the demand. CDA’s development budget has been estimated at Rs.21,743.13m, which is 54 percent of the total budget while provision of Rs.6,397.78 million for MCI formations for pay and allowances and non-development expenditure on provisional basis as requested by MCI, has also been proposed. Allocations have been made for acquisition of land, development of stalled sectors where development is pending since many years, construction of land fill site, road infrastructure and other projects of public welfare but there is hardly any mention of water in the whole budget. 

According to the details, funds amounting to Rs.3 billions have been allocated for the acquisition of land and payment for the built-up-property.

Rs.1000 million have been allocated for infrastructural development of Sector I-15, Rs.100 million for construction of land fill site, Rs.100m for construction of cultural complex at Shakarparian, Rs.100 million for construction of Service Road (South) of Blue Area, sector E-11 and Rs.100 million for provision of water and sewerage services in F-8/F-9 and Blue Area though, being on the tail, sector I-9 and I-10 remain the worst water shortage hit sectors of the city. The citizens have to approach the Inquiry Centres before 4am to get a chance for water tanker otherwise, according to the officials, the remaining complaints of water shortage cannot be entertained due to shortage of resources. 

The water supply lines are rustic and a considerable share of the supplied water is either stolen by the residents dwelling on the main supply lines or goes to waste due to leakage. These illegal connections at the main water supply are a main cause of water shortage in the city. Tough water supply has been devolved to the MCI but it also has no funds to overhaul the existing system.  The govt had decided to allocate Rs 500m for the much-needed twin cities’ project of conduction of water from Indus River System of Tarbela Dam in the PSDP 2018-19.  But the project is still unapproved and slow pace of work on the proposed project may take many years. The project of conduction of water from Indus River System of Tarbella Dam for twincities has been estimated at Rs 75929.920m and component of foreign assistance in the project stands at Rs 7862.410m.