The Okara district with a population of 3.2 million is facing severe problems of a clogged sewerage system.
People of the city, which became a district headquarters in 1982, have been living in an unhealthy environment due to the sewerage problems since long. The city has two parts south and north of the railway line passing through it.
The southern area has been facing sewerage problems for long and they have become a perennial worry for the residents. The problems have escalated to such an extent that pools of dirty water from gutters remain on the streets of Karparam, Mohalla Ghaziabad, Samadpura, Sherbani Town, Jaane Maula Cemetery and adjoining neighbourhoods.
Jaane Maula Cemetery, which is an old graveyard of Okara, is in the middle of populated areas. However, sewage water has formed muddles around it and it is difficult to carry bodies into the premises.
Excavation for replacement of sewerage lines was carried out in the area recently, but the contractor left the work unfinished allegedly due to lack of funds, which aggravated the problems of the people of the area. Local residents say they also face difficulties in going to the mosques in these areas and incidents of people slipping and injuring themselves because of the overflowing sewage are often reported.
Another section facing more hardship due to the situation is schoolchildren who have to pass through the hazardous puddles of sewage every day. A local citizen said while s speaking to The Express Tribune that he was thinking of relocating to some other area because of the stink and filth in his street. Demanding solution of the sewerage problems, residents of a neighbourhood of the city recently protested by a blocking a main road.
They said on the occasion that they had complained to the municipal corporation and district administration several times but the problem had not been solved. When contacted, officials of the local authorities of said had been facing a shortage of funds. The problem of the southern parts of Okara city is perpetual and billions of rupees are needed to replace the whole sewerage system.
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