Govt set to table Islamabad Water Act draft in Parliament

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ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to pitch the draft of Islamabad Water Act 2024 in Parliament to get it passed to ensure sustainable quality water supply for domestic, agricultural, industrial, ecological, and other purposes with a mechanism to fully recover the cost of water under which the umbrella body of Islamabad Water Resources Commission (IWRC) would be established with the mandate to conserve, redistributing or otherwise augmenting water resources in Islamabad capital territory, a senior official of Water Resources Ministry told The News.

“Waters in rivers and their tributaries, nullahs and streams flowing in the Islamabad Capital Territory and lakes, ground and subsoil waters, storm water in drains, canals, or minors forming part of the system of irrigation water supplies in Islamabad will be as deemed as controlled water under IWRC.”

At present, he disclosed, CDA spends almost Rs4 billion per annum on the Islamabad water supply business. However, the receipts are limited to Rs600 million, showing the loss of Rs3.4 billion per year.

The IWRC, he said, will be headed by the Minister of Interior as chairperson and the Minister of Water Resources as co-chairperson comprising 9 members. The Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources will provide secretarial and technical services to the Commission. Secretary, Water Resources Division, Secretary, Interior Division, Secretary, Climate Change Division, Mayor of Islamabad, Chief Commissioner, Islamabad, Chairman, Capital Development Authority (CDA), two independent water experts, one environmental expert – Member, Chairman, Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources will be the part of the commission as its members. Under the Act, Islamabad Water Services Regulatory Authority (IWSRA) comprising a chairman and four members would also be set up as soon as may be, but not later than thirty days of the commencement of the Act to carry out the functions mainly with the mandate to determine the tariff of water for all kinds of consumers apart from regulating all the players in water business such as water and sewerage service providers.

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