DERA GHAZI KHAN:
Potable water supply to the Central Jail by the town municipal administration has been suspended for six days, inmates have complained.
The only recourse at the prison is to the brackish underground water pumped by a tube well. The inmates complain that this water is available for only four hours a day due to the 20-hours-a-day power load-shedding schedule. Also, they say, the water is unfit for drinking or bathing purposes.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Friday, prisoners Ibrahim Ramazan, Muhammad Kashif and Mureed Hussain said they had to miss the Friday prayers because there was no water for the ablutions. They said they would hold a protest demonstration or announce hunger strike if water supply was not resumed soon. They added several complaints had already been lodged with the jail administration but no action was taken on them.
Superintendent Syed Babar Ali rejected the suggestion that the administration was not serious in solving the problem. He said an application had been sent to the TMA to provide potable water to the jail through tankers for the duration of suspension of piped supply. He said a network of supply pipes was being laid in the prison to connect all the barracks to the supply pipe to solve the issue in the long run.
The superintendent said the matter had also been reported to the commissioner. He confirmed that the tube well pumped brackish water which was not fit for consumption.
TMO Azhar Naveed Devan told The Tribune that piped supply had been suspended due to repair work underway at the Manka Canal site. He assured that repair would be completed and supply resumed within a day. The TMO said water was being supplied to the jail through a tanker. The claim was not verified by jail administration.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.