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Wednesday December 08, 2021

Wasa gets Rs1.6b from Japan

By Ali Raza
October 25, 2021

LAHORE: To provide clean drinking water to the masses, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) is finally geared up to initiate its novel project ‘Blue Drop’ as the agency got finances around Rs1.6billion from Japanese government.

Wasa designed the project in 2018 and submitted its proposal for financing and finally Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan approved the utilisation of Counter Value Fund (CVF) vide letter No JEG/014-2020/R dated 20.03.2020. Thereafter, upon the request of Economic Affairs Division Islamabad, Wasa Lahore submitted the PC-I for the subject project to competent forum(s) for approval. The estimated cost of the pilot project was around Rs 1.6 billion, which was approved by CDWP on 29.12.2020.

Under this project, Wasa will provide high quality clean drinking filtered water with metered connections to the residents of Lahore. Wasa Lahore is the 2nd largest water supply utility in Pakistan serving population of approx 8 million citizens.

Wasa’s water supply entirely depends on groundwater and presently Wasa is pumping out 540 million gallons per day (MGD), which is directly supplied to the residents of Lahore. Wasa’s water supply system was laid 30 to 40 years ago and has outlived, consequently increase in frequent complaints pertaining to contamination, inadequate and low pressure.

To address these issues, Wasa in its approved Master Plan (planning horizon 2040) recommended to divide the city into 140 zones/District Metered Areas (DMAs) and to establish a new system to provide clean drinking water to the citizens.

The new system comprised over construction of new overhead reservoirs, replacement of old pipes, installation of metres and monitoring of overall system through SCADA, said Managing Director Wasa Syed Zahid Aziz while talking with The News.

He said initially Wasa selected three deprived localities as model areas for this innovative project. He said initially the Blue Drop project will be initiated in UC-99, UC-100 & UC-101 and around 125,000 citizens will get benefit of this model project.

The initial phase of this project will be completed in 24 months time, MD Wasa said, adding new overhead reservoirs will be constructed, old water distribution lines and tube wells will be replaced, water metres will be installed and the overall project will be monitored through SCADA system.

MD Wasa revealed that after completion, Wasa will be able to provide 24/7 supply of adequate quantity of safe drinking water to the residents. He said water conservation will be ensured through water metering and energy and O&M cost will be saved by avoiding direct pumping. Answering a question, the MD said that metered connections will promote rational use of clean drinking water by the users. He said project consultants have started work on the project, MD WASA said concluded that the project Blue Drop will later be expanded to all the UCs of the provincial capital.