Jabba Dam to be constructed under Peshawar Greater Water Supply Scheme
PESHAWAR: (APP) The construction of Jabba dam has been planned by the provincial government for provision of clean drinking water facility to residents of Peshawar and Khyber Agency besides eradicating fatal waterborne diseases and controlling of flood water during monsoon season.
The government has announced construction of Jabba dam by including it in the Annual Development Program 2016-17 under its Peshawar Greater Water Supply Scheme (PGWS) with an objective to provide clean drinking water facilities to people Peshawar, Hayatabad and Khyber Agency, official's sources in Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department told APP on Wednesday.
The feasibility study of Jabba dam has been already completed and is found feasible in engineering point of view, the official said, adding this dam will serve as a principal source of water supply to Khyber Agency and Peshawar. If funds were available on regular basis, Jabba dam located in Jamrud thesil of Khyber Agency, is expected to be completed by end of 2017.
Upon completion, this dam will cultivate an estimated 20,000 acres of land besides protecting Peshawar and Khyber Agency from floods water during monsoon as rainy water from Khyber Agency's streams would be stored in this water reservoir. The dam is projected to provide about one million people with clean drinking water facility and store up to 38,000 gallons of water by providing enormous agriculture benefits to local populations.
In addition to Jabba dam, the feasibility study of Bara dam has been also prepared with an estimated capacity of irrigating 50,000 acres area in Khyber Agency's tehsil Bara and settled areas of Peshawar. The Bara dam will also serve as a source of drinking water for nearby areas and about two million cusecs potable water can be provided to the Bara Bazaar and about eight million cusecs to Hayatabad in Peshawar.
"Bara dam is very important for Peshawar as its life span is estimated between 80 and 100 years besides its storage capacity of about 88,000 acres feet water," the official said, adding this dam has the potential to produce several megawatts electricity for domestic and agriculture consumption.
Asked about the long awaited Warsak dam water project, the official said, it was a mega project under which water would be brought to Peshawar from Warsak dam and was deemed as main source of water for Peshawarities." This dam is supposed as first option for executing this project when its idea was introduced few years ago," the official said.
"Warsak dam is the most viable option from engineering point of view as it was closely located with Peshawar and less financial cost than other projects, the official said.
Warsak Dam is located some 20 kilometer North of Peshawar on River Kabul while Munda dam was built on upstream of Munda Headworks on River Swat some 37 kilometer from Peshawar in Mohmand Agency.
These projects would be sufficient to fulfill water needs of the ever growing population till 2060 besides increasing the overall agricultural production in KP and Fata. The completion of this project would not only help raise water table in Peshawar that had been going down for last few years owing to rapid installations of tube-wells and excessive use of water but would also provide clean drinking water to Peshawaritis.
The official candidly admitted that clean drinking water is the constitutional right of the citizens of KP and its demand is rising rapidly with an increase in population and per capita water consumption.
"Most of people consumed water from tube wells and huge funds are required for installation of water filtration plants for purification of this water in Peshawar," the official said, adding special funds are also required for operationalization of all non- functional water filtration plants and repair/replacement of old water pipes.
The consumption of unsafe and contaminated water is leading to serious ailments like infant and child mortality, diarrhea, hepatitis, dysentery and malaria diseases in Peshawar that only be checked by provision of safe and clean water to people.
Inspite of gravity of situation and long delay in execution of these important water projects, the KP Government has earmarked only Rs 4150million for 89 clean drinking water projects out of which 81 are ongoing with allocation of Rs.3279.999 million and eight are new with Rs 870.001 million allocation in budget 2016-17.
The main projects reflected in the budget include construction of gravity based water supply schemes in KP, solarization of 200 existing water supply schemes, provision for rehabilitation of disaster affected water supply schemes, construction and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation schemes in KP Phase-II and restoration of non-functional damaged water supply schemes in the province.
Water experts said it was the prime responsibility of PTI government to provide clean drinking water to its people and suggested immediate commencement of work on the above water projects to help reduce risks of waterborne diseases besides providing clean drinking water to residents of Peshawar who are being forced to drink contaminated water since long.