IMC cleaned 50 per cent of drains ahead of rains

Islamabad Municipal Corporation (IMC) has cleaned 50 per cent of the drains following the arrival of monsoon season and plan to clean the remaining has been made, said a representative of the corporation told the Senate Standing Committee For Climate Change on Wednesday.

There was scarcity of funds to complete the cleaning of the natural streams that crisscross the capital, he said, answering questions during the meeting chaired by Senator Sitara Ayyaz.

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The natural drains become clogged due to habit of Pakistani people to throw trash in open nullahs, which blocks the flow of water and poses threat of urban flood, he said.

The federal government has not made any allocations for the purpose and funds by CDA are spent as they come, he said. Regarding who was responsible to clean the drains, he said, CDA looks after the land management while IMC looks after the services work.

Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif said that Islamabad’s beauty has been destroyed by chopping down trees and cutting mountains. There is dirt everywhere upon which the IMC representative said that in 30 years no plan for the beautification of Islamabad has been made even sewerage schemes are from 1970.

The Senate standing committee summoned finance ministry and senate standing committee for CADD in the next meeting to solve the issues faced by IMC. Senator Muhammad Ali Saif said that Sector G-6 and Sector I-8 are facing acute water crisis, locals don’t get water for three days in a row. If this is the condition in federal capital what must’ve been happening in the rest of country.

IMC representative told that committee that Islamabad needs 120 million gallons per day (MGD) water while only 50 MGD were supplied. Moreover, 20 per cent of water gets wasted due to leakage of aging pipelines.

He said that out of 193 tube-wells, 160 were working which cannot be run 24/7. The corporation has 24 water supply tankers out of which 12 were dysfunctional. Committee was told that there was a plan to supply water to Islamabad from Khanpur Dam and Tarbela Dam.

The standing committee has summoned Islamabad Mayor Anser Aziz in its next meeting to explain steps being taken for the beautification of the city and resolving the water crisis.

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Senator Faisal Javed said that cleanliness in Faisal Mosque was being neglected. Senator Sitara Ayyaz said until people found littering the mosque premises were not penalised things would not improve.

The standing committee decided to ask ulema to give sermons related to saving of water, importance of greenery and cutting of forests to raise awareness among people.

During the meeting senators Maulvi Faiz Muhammad and Dr Sikandar Mendroo also presented their views.

Additional secretary ministry climate change, joint secretary ministry climate change and IGP forests were present in the meeting. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2018.

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