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Wapda suspends power supply to Khanpur Dam

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has suspended power supply to Khanpur Dam owing to non-payment of Rs70.5 million utility bills by the Capital Development Authority. Credible sources told ‘The News’ Friday that the Wapda had suspended the power supply to Khanpur Dam on Thursday evening. As a result residents of twin cities, particularly of the cantonment are facing water shortage.

The sources told that Khanpur Dam is the main source of water supply to the residents of Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonments, but now when the power has been suspended the problem of water shortage has erupted. Other than Khanpur Dam source, the two civic bodies meet the demand of water through tube-wells. While the level of underground water has also fallen considerably over the years creating water shortage.

According to the sources, a high-level meeting was held the other day, which was attended by RCB, CDA and Wapda officials. The purpose of the meeting was to convince the Wapda not to cut power supply to Khanpur Dam to avert water shortage in the twin cities. The CDA expressed its consent to clear the electricity amount in easy installments of Rs3 million each month. However, Wapda did not agree to it and taking action disconnected the electricity supply of Khanpur Dam on Thursday evening.

Moreover, RCB Chief Executive Officer, Rana Manzoor, informed the meeting that RCB has nothing to do with the matter and had recently paid Rs30 million to the CDA for clearing the utility bills against electricity. However, the payment was not done to the concerned department.

On the other hand, CDA officials tried to convince for paying the liability in installments to Wapda, which otherwise did not agree.

RCB’s CEO Rana Manzoor while commenting on the issue, said that RCB had been clearing its due share every month to the CDA for payment of electricity tariff but Wapda has disconnected power supply to Khanpur Dam only because CDA failed to pay the bills every month. He said of course water problem would erupt if the issue remains unresolved due to non-payment of power tariff. A senior official of the CDA pleading anonymity confirmed the report of suspension of electricity supply by Wapda since Thursday evening. He said the power has been disconnected due to non-payment of power bills worth Rs200 million against three civic bodies of the twin cities including CDA, Wasa and RCB. He agreed that RCB paid Rs30 million to it but it is not enough to clear the whole dues. The CDA authorities including the chairman and directors of the Water Department are in contact with the Wapda authorities to get the matter resolved which is expected to be resolved in next three to four days.

However, the official did not agree that water shortage problem would erupt in Islamabad after power suspension to Khanpur Dam by Wapda. CDA has enhanced water supply from Simly Dam from 22 million gallon per day to 30 mgd from Friday. The residents of the federal capital would not be facing any water problem and the issue would be resolved very soon, he added.

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