LAHORE:The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) is all set to start construction of two underground water reservoirs in busy commercial localities which may also be used for public parking in off season.
Sources in the agency revealed that approval for funds for eight tanks had already been accorded by the cabinet committee. These tanks will be constructed on Waris Road, Karim Park, Railways Station, Cooper Road, Sheranwala Gate, Kashmir Road and Tajpura.
Sources said approval for two tank projects to be constructed at Sheranwala Gate and Kashmir Road was already accorded by DDWP under the supervision of the commissioner Lahore.
Sheranwala Gate and Kashmir Road are two of the 22 sore points identified by Wasa where rainwater accumulates for hours as these spots are low line areas. The chief minister has also approved construction of underground water tanks similar to those on Lawrence Road on a priority basis. The LDA director general, chief engineer, Wasa MD, commissioner Lahore and other officials have also visited the sites in the recent past and discussed the design.
Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz while talking with this scribe said that the agency was making unique design for these underground water tanks. He said in off season when these tanks are empty, they could be used for public parking as both Sheranwala Gate and Kashmir Road are amongst the busiest commercial centers of the City.
Syed Zahid Aziz said that he has directed his team to think on the idea of turning these tanks into public parking in off season. He said the Wasa engineers will Inshallah make a new and amended design.
Sources said that approval for four tanks is expected in DDSC meeting on February 11, 2021. They said for the remaining two tanks of higher value of Rs400 million, the cases will be considered for approval by PDWP meeting in P&D Department.
Simultaneously, consultant selection was under process by Wasa, sources said adding soon after approvals by government departments, tendering process will be started.
The Wasa MD said that it is target that the eight rainwater reservoirs become operational till June 30 June before start of monsoon rains. He said approval for the underground rainwater tanks to be constructed on Waris Road, Karim Park, Railways Station and Cooper Road will be considered in the upcoming meeting at Housing Department.
The Wasa Lahore has become the pioneer in the country to introduce this innovative idea of constructing underground rainwater tanks by constructing a such tank on Lawrence Road to combat urban flooding. The capacity of underground water reservoir constructed on Lawrence Road is 1.5million gallon rainwater. The water is later used for gardening purposes.
Wasa has already requested the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to provide a fund of around Rs 1 billion for construction of 11 underground water reservoirs in the provincial metropolis.
Wasa MD Syed Zahid Aziz said the agency’s measures to curb urban flooding were appreciated across the country and now the Federal Ministry of Water Resources was considering replicating similar projects in Karachi and other cities to combat urban flooding.
He said that he had also met with President Dr Arif Alvi and briefed him about the rainwater harvesting projects being constructed in Lahore and the President desired to replicate these measures across the country especially in Karachi, which witnessed worst urban flooding in recent monsoon.
The MD said that after completion of these projects, Lahorities will not witness stagnant rainwater at the 22 sore points. He said storing rainwater was the need the time and the water will be reused for gardening purposes resulting in saving of precious groundwater.
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