RAHIM YAR KHAN:
Residents of the katchi abadis around Mayo Mubarak Road protested against the district government and the tehsil municipal administration on Wednesday for issuing them evacuation notices following a leak in the sewerage treatment plant nearby.
The tehsil municipal administration officials gave the residents 24 hours to evacuate their homes after some leaks developed in the treatment plant.
However, after seeing resistance from the residents to leave their homes, the TMA officials warned them about a clean-up operation in the area with the help of the district police.
The residents blocked the Mayo Mubarak Road for more than four hours. Women and children placed charpoys in the middle of the road and sat there. The protesters said that instead of fixing the leak in the treatment plant, the tehsil and district administration were threatening them with a clean-up operation. They said they had nowhere to go, nor had the administration referred them any place. They said they will move the court against the TMA if they were forced out of their homes. They requested the chief minister to take notice of the situation.
They said several people, including children, had fainted in the last few days from poisonous gas leak from the plant. On Wednesday they said three women, Sughran Bibi, Shamshad Bibi and Maryam Bibi, fainted and were taken to Shaikh Zayed Hospital, where they were reported to be out of danger.
Tehsil Municipal Officer Arshad Waraich, Administrator Wajid Ali Shah and Supervisor Pyare Shah visited the site. They also called rescue teams who descended down the sewers of the treatment plants to identify the point of leakage, which was not discovered.
The TMO said repair work could not begin until the leak was located. In this time, he said, the residents would do well by relocating temporarily. He said due to the leakage in the plant, the earth water had also become poisonous.
Former Majlis-i-Shura member Chaudhry Zahid Hameed Gujjar, MPA Maiza Hameed Gujjar and Secretary Ejaz Chaudhry also visited the scene.
They were told about the situation by the protesters.
Hameed assured the people that something will soon be done to fix the problem. He, however, suggested that they should cooperate with the TMA officials and promised that he would report the matter to the chief minister. He said he will support the people if they needed to move the courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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