The residents of Faisalabad, already faced with frequent power outages, are now facing troubles in water supplies.
Taking advantage of the suspension of water supply by the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) some of the private businesses have raised the prices of 20-litre water bottles by Rs20 to Rs30, citizens say.
Rehana, a housewife, said the lack of water had affected daily chores. She said cooking and washing had become very difficult.
“First we suffered the suspension and interruption of gas supplies, then there were electrical power outages and now water supply is almost non-existent. I wonder where this will end,” another resident of the area, Muhammad Jameel, said.
Water pumped from Chenab River bed is the main source of water supplied by Wasa to most parts of the city through a 26-kilometre pipeline.
A Wasa official who spoke The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity said that unusually long power outages had also affected the water supply.
He said the agency has been trying to cope with the situation, but the situation was getting out of control.
Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz told The Express Tribune that the Agency had sent a number of requests to the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company for more reliable power supply. However, he said, Fesco had been unable to oblige.
He said the agency had made some alternative arrangements for the provision of water using generators, but the cost of the generator power was high. He said, “Wasa is facing financial crisis as its maintenance and operation costs are very high. People are not willing to accept an increase in water charges.”
The MD said that Wasa was working on a long-term plan for switching over to alternative power and had asked the government for funds.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.