Gwadar to get 1.2 MGD water desalination plant

Islamabad : The government has approved 1.2 MGD (million gallon per day) water desalination plant for Gwadar with help of Chinese grant of over Rs2 billion to provide fresh potable water for the people of the Gwadar city.

The much delayed project highlights the mismanagement for a project of critical importance. Despite approval of 2 MGD desalination plant in 2006 under Musharraf/Shaukat Aziz regime, at an estimated cost of Rs378 million, the project could not be realised for 14 to 15 years. Initially, the federal government had approved the development scheme for desalination of water on the basis of 50:50 % cost sharing formula by the Center and Balochistan’s provincial government respectively. The federal government had also released its funding of Rs138 million but the project could not be installed. The provincial government then asked the Center to revise the project cost and foot the entire bill while expressing inability to undertake it on a cost sharing basis.

Later the cost of this project was revised upwards to Rs978 million. The Centre released the remaining Rs840 million out of the total Rs978 million as it had already provided Rs138 million for the project. Despite releasing the whole entire amount, the 2MGD desalination plant could not become operational. Now with some stroke of luck the PC-1 for construction of 1.2 MGD Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant with allied infrastructure to provide fresh water to inhabitants of Gwadar, especially residing in the project area, was approved by the CDWP here on Monday night.

The population of Gwadar city had no reliable and sustainable access to drinking water for a very long time. Their main source of water is Ankara Dam which due to frequent droughts is unable even to meet the drinking water requirements of the city’s population. The residents have been forced to buy sometimes expensive water for their daily consumption. The current water requirement of the Gwadar City is 4.2MGD per day while supply from the government source is 2.0 MGD. Within Gwadar city, the only available natural source of water is sea, therefore the Sea Water ROD plant is likely to resolve the basic issue of the residents of the city.