ISLAMABAD            -             The unregulated and unchecked water connections provided to rural areas from main supply lines coming from Simly Dam by Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) are posing a serious threat to overall water supply of the capital city.

In the past, the said lines were punchered by the locals living in the surrounding areas to steal water, however, now the MCI is itself is allegedly allowing such connections to rural areas on pick and chose bases.

The capital city is already facing shortage of drinking water for which the two main sources are the pipelines coming from the Simly dam and Khanpur dam besides the tube wells. Currently, the water need of the city is over 120 million gallon per day but the water supply is only around 65 mgpd.  The CDA was providing water supply only to its sectoral areas, however, after the devolution of water supply directorate to MCI in result of the establishment of local government set up in Islamabad, some of the connections were also approved by MCI for rural areas allegedly to gain political mileage.

For instance, the Mayor of Islamabad has approved provision of two water connections from main line of Simly Dam for union councils number 5 and 7 to supply water in the area of Pind Begwal, Athal, Mera Begwal, Sehali and Barakahu thorough a letter number CDA/DWS-21 (3)/2016/2243.

Similarly, another connection was also approved for a mosque in union council number 8 from Simly dam conduction line though letter number MCI/CDA/DWS-21 (9)/2019/2610.

Though, the aforementioned approvals are themselves questionable in nature but there is no mechanism to monitor sub connections as the officeholders of these union councils are providing a large number of sub connections and charging water charges from the residential and commercial users as well.

According to the printed receipts of Water Supply Scheme of Pind Begwal available with this scribe, Rs 400 per month are being charged from a single household, however, the details of the number of such connections and revenue collection from them is not available with the water supply directorate of MCI.

Sources inside the CDA and MCI informed that the practice to allow direct connections from main supply lines by MCI is meant to deprive the sectoral areas from their right, who are paying water charges regularly.

A senior officer of the authority commented on the condition of anonymity that if the mayor or anybody else wants to provide water supply to rural areas then he must come up with a comprehensive solution.

“This is totally unjustified to provide water connections from main lines which were originally laid down to provide water to the main city,” he said, adding; “Allowing water connections in rural areas is an aid to illegal and haphazard developments in said areas.”

When contacted, Director Water Supply Iqbal Shahid first denied the grant of any such approval but when informed about the exact letter, he simply put the burden on his predecessors. He said that there are a large number of illegal connections from the main supply line and we are trying hard to stop water theft but it is not an easy task.