Islamabad-Khanpur Dam, one of the major sources of water supply to both domestic and industrial use in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, is facing serious problems of contamination due to the indifference attitude of the concerned authorities.

To highlight the problem and contribute toward its cleanliness, the students of HITEC organized a ‘clean green drive’ to collect the garbage scattered at the banks of the dam as well as to create awareness among the locals to play their due role in keeping the area clean and avoid dumping of garbage on the banks of the dam spread over 42 kilometres.

The students, faculty members and locals of the area picked the shopping bags littered around mainly at the picnic spots established along the banks of the dam located on Taxila-Khanpur Road. The dam was built in early 1980s with multi-purposes to provide drinking water to both Rawalpindi and Islamabad besides meeting the water needs of the industries in the area and for irrigation purpose as well.

Despite poor recreational facilities, Khanpur Dam due to its proximity with twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad attracts good number of tourists especially on weekends the area was thronged with tourists, but Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa tourism department was not paying any attention to develop the area to attract the tourists. At the same time the provincial government was also not taking appropriate steps for checking the growing level of contamination in the dam due to some many sources including the residents living alongside the dam as well as its catchment areas.

Director Student Affair HITEC University stressed the need of educating the people visiting the area with civic sense and said that their drive to collect garbage from the banks of dam was part of an awareness campaign to educate the people on keeping the site clean.

He at the same time stressed that the provincial government must also take corrective measures to control the fast deteriorating environmental condition in the area. Zohaib Tariq, a student of HITEC said, “Since this picnic spot is very near to Islamabad, it is also the duty of federal government to spend on its development as well as on the protection of its ecosystem,” he added.

Naveed, a local businessperson said, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa tourism department promised the development of Khanpur Dam for the entertainment of tourists a few years back, but not even a single penny has been spent and now the dam is on the verge of contamination of water and tons of health hazard, not only for marine life but for people living in the twin cities.”

Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had made a feasibility plan of utilizing 600 acres of land of the dam for tourism purposes, providing the facilities of boating, eateries and linking dam area to Islamabad via Makhniyal Township, the bordering village of Haripur, but the plan could not be materialized despite allocation of funds for the road.