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One man’s Treasure is another man’s trash: Housing Societies polluting small dams in Islamabad

Surge of Private Housing Societies around almost every city in Pakistan and especially around Islamabad without any waste management plans throwing waste into useable water resources.

Covid-19 on its peak, the ill-planned settlements and private housing societies are polluting the water in small dams in the federal capital and nearby towns. The pollution is not only contaminating the underground water but also causing the spread of diseases such as hepatitis and gastroenteritis. 

The relevant authorities have noticed that some private housing societies and other settlements were disposing of their solid waste and sewage into the dams.

After Eid ul Fitr, the ICT administration’s plan will be operated on this issue.

The multiple small dams in different cities were constructed purely to meet the drinking water and agriculture need of local people which are being controlled by the Small Dams Organisation (SDO) of the Punjab government.

Capital administration plans operation to close all illegal drains spilling into water reservoirs after Eid, says DC

SDO wrote letters to relevant authorities of Islamabad about Sundaymar Dam located at Dhoke Sanday in D-17. The letter said it had been observed at the site that the dam reservoir was silted close to its dead storage level.

Later, the CDA approved a plan of the Cabinet Division Cooperative Housing Society for development of a society (E-16 and partially in E-17) in the catchment area.

“Since 2008-09, development of these sectors is going on wherein the sewerage system of these sectors has been designed to the outfall in different natural creeks leading to the pond of this dam.”

It added.

The letter said currently the population in Cabinet Division Employees Cooperative Housing Society is increasing rapidly and their sewerage lines are disposing of untreated sewage, approximately 0.5 to 2 cusecs, to the natural creeks and ultimately into the pond of Dhoke Sandaymar Dam, causing pollution/bad odour in the stored water.

It said the SDO’s executive engineer had requested the CDA to ensure disposal of sewage only after its proper treatment.

“Now, the matter needs to be taken at the higher level to sort out the issue of contamination of water being used for irrigation and to some extent for drinking.”

It added.

The length of the main irrigation channel is 14,000 feet with a minor (Paswal minor) of 4,000 feet.

Customarily, the irrigation channel runs only in June, July, and February depending on the demand of irrigators. As per record, agriculture use of the dam water from July 2019 to June 20, 2020, remained limited to just 101.53 acre feet.

Thus surplus raw water is available in the dam for agriculture and domestic use but with proper management/treatment.

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