PESHAWAR, Aug 7: Water coming from overflowing Kabul River Canal and leakages of its protections wall and inundating houses in some areas of the capital city has now become a routine in summer.
Residents of these areas, including Afghan Colony, Tableeghi Markaz and Saeedabad locality have to face plethora of problems after water from the adjacent irrigation canal enters their houses, several residents of the area told Dawn.
They complained that canal water entered their houses frequently in summer due to overflow these days, causing cracks in the walls and floors of their houses.
“We have to face the dirty smell for days after water enters our houses as it also brings sewage with it into our houses,” said an aged woman wishing not to be named.
During rain, water could be seen standing on roads, streets and inside houses everywhere, but in Saeedabad area roads and streets were flooded with canal water once or twice a week during the season, she said.
She said that a few days ago water in the irrigation canal flowed over the protection wall and entered into their houses. “Knee deep water was standing in my house,” she lamented and added that her family members even could not walk in the house. She said that all her household items and electric appliances were damaged in the rooms of her house, while iron made electric appliances started rusting.
“When canal water enters our house it just becomes unfit for living and I go to my brother’s house along with other family members,” another dweller of Saeedabad said. He said that the dirty water also caused skin and other diseases among the residents.
He said that he had erected two feet wall in front of rooms to stop water from entering into rooms. However, he said that sometimes water level swelled so high that it crossed the small wall and inundated rooms. “I do not want to go to my house due to stinking smell in my house for days due to the canal water,” he said.
He demanded of the government to take notice of the problem and save their buildings from destruction. He suggested that protection walls of the canal should be strengthened and raised from the existing level.
A senior official in the irrigation department, when contacted, blamed the local population for overflow of irrigation canal, saying they had been releasing sewage through drains into the canal in different areas. “The mixing of sewage water with the irrigation water is a crime,” he said.
He rejected the general perception that irrigation department had increased discharge of water into the Kabul Rival Canal, saying they could release water up to certain limit.
“We cannot decrease the discharge from its set level just to stop entering of water into houses due to pressure of farmers,” the official said. The farmers would be the ultimate sufferers if release of water in the canal is reduced, he added.
The official also said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would lose part of its share if the water discharge into Kabul River Canal was decreased.