Popular tourist spot is running dry

(Aamer Shahzad Abbasi, Bhurban Murree)

Pakistan’s favorite and well-known tourist destination which is situated in 30 km northeast of Islamabad with population of 233,471 people. Murree is a beautiful and scenic hill resort where people come to live and enjoy their holidays from months of routine chores.But, regrettably, Murree is facing acute water crisis now a days. Water stress in Murree looks to be getting poorer day by day since form previous ten years. Especially, water crisis impacts poor families of the region the most.The city is awfully running low with water availability.
Water is most important to live and without water we can't live.A recent research revealed that around 6% of the Soil’s surface is enveloped with water. A large number of people over the world who do not access to water and spend their entire day searching for it and Murree is one of them.

According to a latest research, it is shown that Murree has usually good condition of water levels but have faster reduction rates,falling gradually with increase in concentration of wells and discharge rates.

In Murree, about 80% of its population fulfilling theirs water demand by natural springs but due to lack of care, these resources have dried up, forcing people to bring water from distant areas.Fetching water over long distances and in the zigzag areas is dangerous for women and children.In a recent survey, it is revealed that groundwater safety net of the area is fraying rapidly and changing to polluted water.The local residents and tourists visiting Murree from across the country had to suffer due to water shortage and they were forced to purchase water for drinking and other use.

In Murree, water comes from three main sources: Doonga Gali, harnoi and Dhar Jawa but the water pipeline was laid some hundred years ago and is damaged in several places, due to which water is wasted as it travels to Murree as well water scarcity is caused by climate change, overuse of water, water pollution, conflict an over area of natural resource, drought etc. due to which the water demand couldn’t be fulfilled in Murree and now a days alarming water shortage is prevailing in the locality.

In 2005, Neelam Jehalam Bulk water project was initiated by PML-Q government with an estimated cost of five (5) billion rupees but, unfortunately, this mega project was stopped by PML-N government tenure due to political rivalry while some sources said that this water scheme was connected with New Murree City project and it was abandoned due to end New Murree City project.However, pipelines, generators and other equipment bought to bring water from the Jhelum River were left rusting under the open sky.

Water scarcity in Murree is a result of poor water management resources.In previous ten years, ruling elite couldn’t address the major water issues of the residents.In 2014-15, LHC Rawalpindi bench ordered to resume this project in a petition of local resident Javed Iqbal Satti. The project completion period was projected around 4 years. In 2018 general elections, PTI government promised to solve this water crisis of the region on propriety basis was being ignored in past. Now, in 2018-19, Punjab government has decided to re-start this Mega bulk Water Scheme. Some sources of Punjab government told that fresh approval had been granted to the project in order to meet the growing need of water in Murree.
In the end, needed solution to resolve water crisis in Murree, to educate residents and tourists to change consumption and life style about water usage. Government must develop innovative technology to recycle waste water in order to meet drying aquifers. Develop better policies for water.Considering, raising awareness and educating teachers and children about the responsible use of water is of absolute importance on long-term. Consumption and improve distribution infrastructure. Rainwater harvesting technique can also meet the water requirements of the people so Punjab government should start rain water harvesting project in the locality because the rainiest place of Pakistan is Murree. The most important way to overcome water shortage in the locality, is to complete the suspended Murree Bulk Water Supply Project.

According to a latest report by IMF, Pakistan ranks third in the world among states facing serious water dearth. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) also cautioned the authorities that Pakistan will reach absolute water scarcity by 2025.

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Thanks to all for comments.
By: Aamer Shahzad Abbasi, Bhurban Murree on Dec, 16 2019
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I like your article...
By: Dr.Saad, Islamabad on Sep, 18 2019
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By: ALI, LAHORE on Sep, 17 2019
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