ISLAMABAD-Ali, standing in the long queue at a water tanker office, has been doing this for the last couple of days - getting up early in the morning to register his complaint for water supply after hours of waiting but yet has not been lucky enough to get even a quarter of a tanker.

Even now, he is not sure if he would get the water supply.

This is not the tale of Thar or anyone hailing from other far flung areas of the country, but a cry of thousands of people living in the capital of Pakistan - Islamabad.

A visit by this correspondent at a private Water Tanker Office G-13, showed almost a hundred people standing in the queue to register their complaints.

While waiting for hours, Ali stressed that it was an everyday problem at their house. The resident emphasised that the government should regulate the system and provide basic necessity like water to the newly developed sectors like G-13 and G-14.

The charges for each tanker are more than triple of what the MCI charges for each delivery. According to Ali, the government also needed to check on these private water tankers who are taking this water crisis for granted and making money out of it.

On way back, this correspondent paid a visit to one of the water tanker offices, which is being run under the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad. On this journey, The Nation found that even the oldest sectors of Islamabad like G-9 and G-10 were also facing an acute shortage of water.

When approached, Imran, a staff member at the water supply office told The Nation, “201 complaints have been registered today from only three sectors, G-9, G-10, and G-11. However, we were only able to supply water to 35 houses.”

The staff member briefed that the queue of people complaining about shortage of water in their households was getting larger with every passing day.

Imran stated that their staff works in shifts to ensure timely water supply. But staff efficiency depends solely on the availability of water tankers which were also lacking.

Elaborating further, he explained that the complaints received in this season of winter levelled to the complaints they receive in summers when water is needed the most.

The Water Tanker Office had a total of 35 water tankers out of which only 11 were operationally working properly. The rest of the tankers were parked for months as all of them were out of order and were not functioning properly. Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad is responsible to provide a steady supply of water to all parts of the capital. But for years, the residents of Islamabad also seem to be tussling to get the water supply for their households.

On taking the matter to the Mayor of Islamabad Anser Sheikh, the official told that the water crisis in the capital was undoubtedly very serious. Explaining the reasons, he stated that due to the leakage of water from pipelines a lot of water is wasted. Thirty five percent of the total water supplied to the capital is wasted because of the poor condition of the pipelines supplying water to the capital from Simli Dam, said the Mayor.

The incumbent further briefed that the total of 340 million gallons of water was needed for the capital every day, out of which the authorities were only able to provide 120 million gallons. According to the mayor, 50 percent of the water was supplied from Simli Dam and 9.5 MGD was allocated from Khanpur Dam. The rest was supplied through tube wells situated in different sectors of the area.

The Mayor said that due to lack of funds from the government and the Capital Development Authority, MCI was not able to recover the shortage of water and solve the problem of over a million people.

Director for Water MCI Mr Iqbal, while talking to The Nation, revealed that due to lack of water and rare rainfalls in this season, the water level in the Simli Dam has decreased. Therefore, to maintain the water supply in summers when the demand of water in the capital is on the rise, the authorities have blocked the pipelines carrying water to the capital in order to preserve it for the coming season.

The director further briefed that the project of Ghazi Bharota Dam and Tarbela Dam were very essential in order to eliminate the water crisis in the capital.