Sewage flowing into water pipelines

UC 31 residents say they will protest outside WASA office

​ Our Correspondent March 12, 2020

RAWALPINDI: Despite spending millions of rupees for the gastro-prevention programme, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has failed to replace the dilapidated, underground water supply lines where sewage water reportedly mixes with drinking water.

The alleged negligence of Wasa has put the health of Union Council (UC) 31 residents at risk, with many residents said to be suffering from different skin and gastrointestinal diseases after consuming the contaminated water, locals told The Express Tribune.

The poor planning of the authority was laid bare when the water and sewerage lines were found lying in the same trench during digging in UC 31, Zaheer Ahmed Awan, the chairman of the Citizens Action Committee — a local civil action forum.

Seeing this gross negligence, locals demanded that Wasa fix the issue.

Awan added that they had also lodged several complaints with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s complaint cell and the Prime Minister’s Citizen Complaints Portal, but no action has been taken so far.

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He added that unless the situation is addressed, the citizens will be forced to stage a protest outside Wasa’s offices.

Oil spill

Meanwhile, an oil refinery has started cleaning up the oil which had spilt into Nulri Dam’s lake. The action, though, came after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the fisheries department issued notices to the refinery.

Oil from the refinery was reportedly seeping into the reservoir and was allegedly killing marine life.

Following public complaints, EPA Deputy Director (DD) Amin Baig and Fisheries District Officer (DO) Maratib Ali visited the reservoir and sent samples to a forensic laboratory in Lahore.

Once oil contamination was confirmed, the two departments issued separate notices to the refinery.

Taking responsibility, the company deployed machines to clean up the spill from the Nulri Dam. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2020.


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