MURREE, June 2: The severe water shortage in various areas of the hill station and its adjoining areas has become a nuisance for a large number of tourists coming from across the country.

During the summer, a huge number of tourists visit the hilly resort and face shortage of water. The private tankers supply water but the tanker owners fetch water from natural courses which is severely contaminated and not suitable even for washing purposes. However, the polluted water is used for drinking purposes in restaurants and hotels.

Owing to long hours electricity load shedding, the water from Dhaar Jawa, Barriyaan, Haro and other sources cannot be supplied to Murree.

Apart from tourists, the local people residing at Mall Road, Siddique Chowk, Mochi Mandi, Cart Road, Tehsil Road, Sunny Bank also face severe water shortage. Pakistan Air Force Base, a suburban cantonment of the city, is supplied water only once in a week. The local women have to fetch water from natural springs for drinking purposes.

The water shortage in the healthy resort has become a chronic problem but no concrete measures have been taken by the authorities concerned to resolve this issue.

It is pertinent to mention here that during PML-Q government, a mega project of water supply to Murree known as Neelam-Jhelum Bulk Water Supply Scheme was initiated by allocating Rs5 billion. The project was to be completed in 2010.

But the project was abandoned as the incumbent rulers came into power causing a loss of Rs3.5 billion to the public exchequer as the machinery had already been purchased and the road from Gehl to Chaprrian water point had been constructed.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MNA, and Chairman Chief Minister’s Steering Committee on the development projects of Murree said that due to increase in electricity tariff, the per litre price of water supplied through the scheme would be more than  one rupee and the residents could not bear the cost.

It is feared that if the same situation continues to prevail, the tourists would not come to the resort.

The residents and the hoteliers appealed to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to look into the matter personally and save them from the troubling situation. — Correspondent

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