The capital’s biggest hospital complex is facing water shortage.
A cut in the hours water is supplied to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) is one reason, inadequate storage capacity is another.
According to sources in the Pims accounts department, 100 plastic water tanks worth Rs7,500,000 were installed on the roofs of the hospital’s blocks, as well as Pims colony and hostels three years ago.
The contract for installing the water tanks was given to Pims employees. The officials embezzled most of the money and bought substandard and cheap plastic water tanks, the rest of the money made its way in to their bank accounts, an official claimed.
After three to four months, the majority of water tanks started to leak and now they are completely ruined, he added. This has been causing a lot of difficulty for Pims employees who are unable to store water for longer periods of time. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Naseema*, wife of a Pims employee residing in the colony, said the plastic water tanks installed on rooftops have worn out and residents are forced to store water in buckets and drums.
During summer, it becomes very difficult to get by on the water available as everyone has to bathe daily and do laundry. “There is no place nearby from where a housewife can fetch water for basic needs,” she said. She also complained that the water available is often muddy and contaminated.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a Pims hostelite said sometimes there is no water for washing your face or a shave in the morning. “Earlier, there was uninterrupted water supply from 5am to 10 pm but water is now available for only a few hours. It is next to impossible to store water and do house chores,” he added.
“How can a person like me who has no car go to a filtration plant to fill a container?” questioned another hostelite. Storing water in the drums or buckets in this season is also dangerous because of dengue mosquitoes, he added.
They said they have lodged complaints with the administration on several occasions but they haven’t done anything to resolve the issue.
When contacted, Dr Waseem Khawaja, official spokesperson for Pims, denied there was a water shortage. He said the water tanks were installed three years back but he did not have any idea about their current condition. He claimed that the administration had not received any complaint in this regard either.
*Name changed to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.
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