Areas falling under the prime minister’s National Assembly constituency in Multan have been inundated with sewage-filled water for a month because of leaks in the main sewerage pipeline.
The areas affected by the leaks include Jaleelabad Colony, Dera Adaa Square and Lal Kurti in Multan cantonment.
Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) senior engineer Javed Qureshi said the pipe had cracked at five different spots.
Talking to The Express Tribune, residents said they had been protesting for several days but the authorities concerned were not paying any attention to the issue. They said they had staged more than 30 protests so far.
“We can’t even visit the mosque for prayers. The streets are all flooded with sewage,” they said.
They said water flooded the ground floors of their houses and that they had to move to the first floors.
Shopkeepers in these areas said that their sales had dropped because people were confined to their houses.
Two weeks ago a seven-year-old girl died after drowning in the water in Lal Kurti.
Wasa managing director Chaudhry Shamim said they were working to resolve the issue.
“I have formed three teams and assigned them to monitor repair work in different areas,” he said.
He said that the pipe would be repaired in a couple of days and that would clear all the water from these areas.
He said the sanitation infrastructure in these areas was old and with time more pipes could develop cracks in them. Shamim said Wasa had recently changed two main pipelines in these areas.
Dr Kashif Chishti, who has a private practice in one of the affected areas, said that there could be an outbreak of malaria because of the rise in the number of mosquitoes. The district officer (health) said the department had sprayed and fumigated these areas twice in the last two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.