The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is set to embark on a groundbreaking initiative to transform Leh Nullah into a stormwater channel, aiming to address flooding issues and enhance the overall environmental resilience of the region. The RDA will conduct a model study, with an allocated budget of Rs69 million, to lay trunk sewers on both sides of Leh Nullah.
Collaborating with key stakeholders such as the Military Engineering branch, Rawalpindi and Chaklala Cantonment Boards, and the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), the RDA has prepared the Project Concept-II (PC-II) for the model study.
Leh Nullah Transformation Project
The primary objective of the project is to transport sewage from the city and cantonment areas through the newly laid sewers to the treatment plant at Gorkhpur near Adiala. This initiative aims to restore Leh Nullah to its original form as a clean water channel, mitigating the risk of flooding during heavy rains.
Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha initiated the project two months ago, instructing the RDA to form a committee for the survey of Leh Nullah and laying trunk sewers. The commissioner also sought input from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad administration, as sewage from the federal capital discharges into Leh Nullah at Kattarian.
The total length of Leh Nullah, stretching from Kattarian Bridge to Soan River near Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench building, spans 16 kilometers, with a daily discharge of 600 cusecs of sewage. The last major flood in the nullah occurred on July 23, 2001, resulting in significant loss of life and property.
RDA Director General Saif Anwar Jappa informed Dawn that the project had been submitted to the Planning and Development Department for approval. While awaiting approval, the RDA has addressed observations and objections, with the project expected to receive the green light in the coming week.
Jappa revealed that the provincial government had expressed keen interest in the initiative and, once approved, would allocate funds for the study. The RDA intends to hire a consultant to conduct the survey, with work expected to commence in January 2023. The consultant will have six months to complete the study.
The RDA envisions a comprehensive transformation, with trunk sewers on both sides of Leh Nullah facilitating the disposal of city sewage to the treatment plant. The collaboration with the CDA further involves the discharge of treated water into Leh Nullah from the Kattarian side, aligning with efforts to make Leh Nullah a more efficient rainwater channel.
The project marks a significant step toward sustainable urban development and disaster risk reduction, positioning Rawalpindi to better cope with environmental challenges in the future.