RAWALPINDI: The cash-strapped Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) of Rawalpindi has once again approached the Punjab government, seeking a grant of Rs40 million for the cleaning Nullah Leh.
The water channel passing through Rawalpindi has been getting clogged due to incessant dumping of garbage, waste and debris by people living along its banks. A natural accumulation of silt was another issue which has been blocking the easy flow of water.
In a request sent to Lahore, WASA has requested that money in its personal ledger account to complete the cleaning of the nullah before the monsoon season.
Following a recent spell of rains, water in the small channel rose by 12 feet, whereas flood warnings are issued at 15 feet. Despite that, water from the channel flooded some low-lying areas along its banks in the Katarian area on Thursday.
WASA, in its correspondence with the Punjab government, pleaded that it needs the money to save people from devastation by completing the cleaning of Nala Leh before the monsoon season sets in.
The said funds had been withdrawn after approval contended WASA Managing Director Iftikharuddin Naeem.
In the request sent to the Punjab finance secretary, Naeem adopted the stand that due to delays in release of funds, the tendering process could not be started. However, if the funds are released, the process will commence immediately after Eidul Fitr holidays.
By completing the pre-monsoon cleaning of Nala Leh, the city can be protected from an urban flood during the monsoon season.
As WASA will continue to clean the drain during the monsoon season, Naeem maintained that the funds should be transferred to the PLA account instead of the SDA.
It should be noted that regular cleaning of Nala Leh should be completed every year before the monsoon.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2020.
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