Cash-strapped agency: Seeking funds to continue service

WASA says it cannot pay for upkeep of 135 filtration plants under its charge.


Mudassir Raja June 19, 2011

RAWALPINDI:


Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) is finding it difficult to manage 135 filtration plants set up across the city due to insufficient funds.


Talking to The Express Tribune, a senior official of WASA said the agency requested the provincial government last year to provide Rs20 million to the agency to ensure proper upkeep of the filtration plants, but the funds have still not been issued.

The agency daily provides 8 million gallons of water to consumers through these filtration plants free of charge.

Most of these filtration plants were installed in 2005-06 by the then city district government without consulting or seeking permission from WASA, which was then directed to ensure provision of water and upkeep of these plants, said the official.

He said as the plants were set up by public representatives of different areas, WASA’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not followed in installation of the water filtration plants in the city.

As per the SOPs, WASA was to provide necessary no-objection certificates for the filtration plants and only one plant was to be installed in each union council, the official added.

When contacted, WASA Managing Director (MD) Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed said, “If the government wants to provide clean drinking water to these people it should subsidize the commodity and the services charges should be paid to the water agency to meet its expenses.”

He said the agency has been providing 44 million gallon water per day to consumers, and water is being provided at the filtration plant free of charge.

WASA is ensuring provision of water and upkeep of filtration plants through its own expenses, he added.

WASA’s financial troubles can be minimized if the supply of the water to the filtration plants is subsidized by the government and new plants are established following the SOP laid down by the water authorities, the MD said.

He hoped that the required funds for upkeep of the filtration plants will be provided in this fiscal year.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2011.

COMMENTS (1)

Billoo Bhaya | 10 years ago | Reply As a Government Agency WASA has the powers under Land Revenue Act to seize all properties of defaulters. These can be released upon payment of dues with penalties and if not paid, then these can be auctioned and proceeds collected. No need to show any leniency to anyone. Enough has happened over the last 64 years.
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