KOHAT, June 20: The famous natural springs of Kohat city have been losing beauty and attraction for the visitors, as a few influential people have encroached upon the public property and diverted the water flow of these springs to their houses built illegally.

Sources said that an influential personality of Kohat and a contractor had occupied part of the springs and diverted their flow to his house and two other houses of his in-laws.

Residents said that the district administration should wake up from its slumber to protect one of the landmarks of the city and take immediate notice of the matter and demolish the houses illegally built on the springs so as to revive the natural flow of the springs. They said that the owners of the houses also throw garbage of their houses in the springs, which was polluting the clean water.

MNA Khursheed Begum has recently approved funds for construction of a boundary wall around the natural springs to ensure that local women also have space and easy access to the fresh water, but the scheme is yet to be launched. Mufti Tariq, prayer leader of a mosque located near the springs, told media persons that the practice of washing clothes and bathing in these springs was very old. But, since there was no boundary wall, the women have no separate space and they faced numerous problems due to shortage of water in the locality.

He feared that if the situation persisted a day would come when somebody would fully occupy the springs and deprive the people of a cool place of excursion.

Local historian and intellectual Prof Mohammad Iqbal said: “These springs are situated on the contours of Kohat and have been flowing for centuries. They have been mentioned in the books written by the British and there is am interesting tale attributed to them of spiritual leader of Sikhs, Guru Nanak.”

Mr Iqbal regretted that such a wonderful place was being wasted due the negligence of the administration. He said that the place around the springs was initially set aside for construction of a small children park.

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