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September 18, 2019

Wasa gets NOC for surface water treatment plant


September 18, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Irrigation Department has finally issued NOC to Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) for its surface water treatment plant while the Punjab government has sent PC-1 of the project worth Rs21 billion to federal government for final approval.

This was revealed by Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz while briefing a four-member delegation of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) here Tuesday. He said the bank had finally agreed to provide a soft loan for the mega project conceived by Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) in a bid to provide clean drinking water to the citizens as well as to save the underground water aquifer.

Under the project, Wasa will construct three waste water treatment plants and one surface water treatment plant in the provincial metropolis. Sources in Wasa said the bank’s screening committee had cleared the project and sent a technical committee to discuss the details with Wasa authorities.

Wasa MD later took the delegation to the project site where they met with senior officers of Punjab Irrigation Department and other officials concerned. They visited Ravi Syphon and Bhini Village where Wasa MD gave detailed briefings on the surface water project.

Zahid Aziz confirmed that Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved the project and final letter would soon be issued by the federal government. He said that NESPAK had completed all the paper work and civil work on the project would be started soon.

Environmental experts said that excess pumping of ground water could result in a future disaster and would only worsen the problem resulting in further lowering the water table. They said increasing water pumping operation was expensive solution whereas the project in pipeline was the only solution in the present circumstances. Wasa MD while talking with The News said that as the groundwater supply of the city would not be able to support the drinking water needs of its rapidly growing population over the coming decade the alternative sources of drinking water should be explored and cultivated on emergent grounds.

He said the Wasa management was taking every step to fight all future challenges relating to supply of drinking water and was aware of the gravity of the situation regarding ground water depletion. He said a surface water treatment plant would be constructed at Bhini Village at River Ravi.

There is around three to four million acre feet water that skips to Pakistan from India into Ravi and is significantly less polluted to the extent that it can be stored and treated for drinking. The project would address multiple problems of Wasa with regard to providing drinking water, the MD concluded.

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