Residents of Rehana village on Friday threatened to block GT Road in protest of being deprived of water for the last two weeks due to a faulty tube well motor which is yet to be replaced.
Rehana is the native village of field marshal General Ayub Khan who went on to become the president of Pakistan. It is situated at a distance of 12 kilometres south east of Haripur, with a population of around 5,000. The village has been receiving its share of water from a tube well built many decades ago. However, the machine pumping water has started breaking down frequently during the last few months due to lack of maintenance.
According to a villager, Naeem Khan, water supply was suspended two weeks ago. When locals approached the tube well operator, they were told a complaint had been lodged with the Public Health Engineering Department, he added.
“A fortnight has passed and the department has still not fixed the faulty machine. Residents are forced to collect water from distant places and carry it home on their heads or on donkeys,” he complained.
Another villager, Tanveer, was of the opinion that since all the influential relatives of Ayub Khan had relocated elsewhere, the government departments are no longer interested in the people’s problems.
“We have even approached Deputy Commissioner Haripur to seek his support in restoring our water supply. If the Public Health Engineering Department fails to install a new machine within a couple of days, we will block GT Road near Sera-e-Saleh in protest,” warned Tanveer.
The department’s sub divisional officer was not available for comment, but an engineer requesting anonymity said the fault would be removed within the next two days.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2013.