State Minister for Water and Power Ch Abid Sher Ali and Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata jointly inaugurated the up-gradation project of mechanical system of sewerage and drainage services of Wasa Faisalabad here on Narwala Road on Friday. Under the project, funded by the Japanese government, modern machinery, pumps and equipment worth of Rs1 billion have been provided to the Wasa for improving sewerage and drainage system in the third populous city of Pakistan.

Punjab Housing Minister Malik Tanveer Aslam, Parliamentarians including Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Dr Nisar Jatt, Begum Khalida Mansoor, Sh Ejaz Ahmad, Mian Tahir Jamil, Haji Khalid Saeed, Dr Najma Afzal, JICA Pakistan Chief Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, First Secretary Embassy of Japan Yuchi Kuroda, JICA Deputy Resident Representatives - Mehmood Jilani, Mr Hamano, Yariasato and Shoji Takamtsu, Punjab Housing Secretary Dr Arshid Mehmood, Divisional Commissioner Capt (r) Nasim Nawaz, RPO Ehsan Tufail, DCO Noorul Amin Mengal, CPO Dr Suhail Tajak, Wasa MD Syed Zahid Aziz, FCCI President Eng Rizwan Ashraf and civil society representatives attended the ceremony.

State Minister Ch Abid Sher Ali represented Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who was scheduled to inaugurate the project but he could not turn up due unavoidable engagements.

Addressing the function, the State Minister expressed gratitude to the Japan government for the provision of mechanical equipment and machinery under Japan Grant Aid Project aimed at upgrading mechanical system of Wasa Faisalabad. He said the project aimed at improving quality of life of Pakistanis.

He pointed out that Faisalabad was being made a model city through mega development projects and major issues of clean drinking water and drainage facilities were being upgraded. Abid Sher said that the project of providing clean drinking water to bulk of the city’s population was being completed at a cost of Rs5 billion.

He said that Pakistan and Japan friendship had a long history of cordial relation which would be strengthened with every passing day. He expressed gratitude to people of Japan on behalf of people of Pakistan. The state minister also assured the JICA of full support on behalf of the government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata said that Japan had been working for the past decade to improve water and sanitation system in Faisalabad which was as model city of Japanese assistance for water sector. He expressed his hope that expertise and experience gained by the Wasa Faisalabad would be utilised for the benefit of Pakistani public. He pointed out that Japanese provided machinery would help to build capacity of Wasa for effective clean-up of drainage system on scientific lines. Mr Hiroshi Inomata reiterated the commitment to further cement Pak-Japanese friendship and take it to new heights.

Punjab Minister for Housing Malik Tanvir Aslam, while speaking on the occasion thanked the people of Japan for remarkable support for the up gradation of mechanical system of WASA Faisalabad and said that the machinery and equipments of heavy amount provided by the Japan govt. would lead to tremendous improvement in efficient disposal of waste water and storm water of Faisalabad city. He informed that on the request of Punjab govt, JICA was considering to support WASA in three projects i.e. preparation of master plan for water supply, sewerage and drainage system in the city, replacement of water pumping machinery and up gradation of Jhal Khanuana Water Treatment Plant. For institutional improvement, JICA advisor has been working in WASA Faisalabad for the last one year, he added. He said that these projects of water sector would be implemented in accordance with the vision of CM Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for the provision of safe water supply facilities to the every citizen within minimum period. He said that this project would remain alive in the hearts of the citizens of Faisalabad for many years as 62nd anniversary of establishment of Pak Japan friendship is being celebrated at this time.

JICA Pakistan Chief Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki in his address highlighted the significance of the project and said that machinery and equipment provided under the project would be utilized for cleaning drains and cope with monsoon flood. He expressed the hope that with strenuous efforts the Wasa would come up to the public expectations and provide sustainable water services to people in Punjab.

On the occasion, Wasa MD Syed Zahid Aziz informed that machinery and equipment provided by the Japanese government included sewer jetting machines, sewer suction machines, dump trucks, Crane mounted trucks, back hoe excavators, self priming dewatering sets, sewage pumps for disposal stations and generators for disposal stations which were very useful and beneficial for improving sewage system.