ISLAMABAD-The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is going to float an international tender to engage the services of a consultant to prepare fresh feasibility study for Ghazi Barotha water project.

The advertisement would be given in national and international dailies from project management unit established in CDA to pursue the said project.

Source informed that a consultant would be hired to conduct fresh surveys and studies and in light of these, a fresh feasibility study would be presented.

They told that the present government wants to execute this stalled project on priority basis due to shortage of water in the city at present.

The project envisions a 45-kilometre pipeline that, if executed, would bring water from the Indus River at Ghazi Barotha to Islamabad and then Rawalpindi.

The project was conceived in 2006, and its cost was estimated at Rs37 billion. The estimate was revised a few years ago and increased to Rs77 billion, and sources said that new estimates could rise to Rs100 billion.

When contacted, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan told that we are actively pursuing said project and it would be implemented in a short span of time.

“The project is the need of the city and present government is fully committed to complete this project,” he added.

He said that once completed, the project would provide 100 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to Rawalpindi and Islamabad each.

The incumbent government had allocated a token amount in budget 2019-20 for this project, while various options are also being explored to fund this project. Sources said that according to previous estimates, the project would cost Rs77 billion. The CDA has been exploring various options, including a public-private partnership, to arrange funding.

At present, the capital have an overall requirement of 220 MGD of water for its urban and rural areas but receives on average 60 MGD for its urban areas only while rural residents depend either on water boring or small supply schemes.

CDA officials said that Islamabad, which was developed in 1960, still relies on old water sources such as the Simly and Khanpur dams and tubewells, and no new sources of water have been explored for several decades.

With the growing housing in Islamabad, water shortage is increasing day by day and the situation becomes worse in every summer season particularly when the gap between demand and supply widens.

The Ghazi Barotha Water project has been discussed since 2006, but work has not moved beyond discussion in more than 10 years.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of recently formed local government commission was held at Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad, which was chaired by SAPM on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan and attended by other members MNA Raja Khuram Nawaz, Senator Seemi, Ali Bukhari, Tayba Ibrahim and Mayor of Islamabad Shaikh Anser Aziz.

Awan informed The Nation that the local commission has expressed its dissatisfaction over the poor sanitation services in Islamabad and suggested the federal government to take away the control of sanitation directorate from MCI.

“We advised that the directorate should be given to some other department of federal government for better service delivery,” he said.

On the other side, a press note issued by the MCI regarding the said meeting stated that the Mayor of Islamabad has briefed the commission that over 70 percent machinery used by MCI is out of order while the municipal body is also facing shortage of funds.

“The meeting was deferred due to the absence of the officers from CDA with direction to attend next time,” the note further added.