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Dams full yet residents face water shortage

Updated July 15, 2013

RAWALPINDI, July 14: Despite having enough water in the dams owing to the monsoon rains, complaints of water shortage have been reported from different parts of the city and the cantonment areas.

The spillways of Rawal Dam opened yesterday to drain the additional water after the monsoon rains last week, and Khanpur Dam has enough water to almost touch the maximum mark.

However, residents of Afshan Colony and Dhoke Chaudhrian in the cantonment area and Dhoke Mangtal, Pirwadhai, Mohanpura, Arjan Nagar, Ammarpura and adjoining areas of the city are facing water shortage even in Ramazan.

Rajab Ali, a resident of Afshan Colony Jinnah Lane, said residents were suffering from water shortage for the past one month, as water was available for half an hour for two times a week, but the authorities concerned had turned a blind eye to the issue.

He said that despite several complaints lodged with the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), water supply to the area had not been restored.

Raffique Ahmed, a resident of Ibrahim Lane, said, “Our daily chores remain incomplete due to the non-availability of water. We had to hire private water tanker at Rs1,200 to meet the water demand.”

An RCB official said the tube well was in a running condition but the demand had increased many folds during the summer season.

“The claim that water is provided for only half an hour is wrong. The problem is that illegal water connections in the area use the water from the supply lines,” he said.

However, he said the RCB would survey the area and address the problems faced by the residents. He added that loadshedding in the past one month was another reason for the decreased supply as water pressure could not be developed so it did not reach all the houses.

Similarly, residents of different localities of the city areas, which fall under the administrative control of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), also complained of water shortage in Mohanpura, Arjan Nagar, Ammarpura, Tipu Road and adjoining areas. They said Wasa authorities provided water for only 15 minutes in the hot weather.

Javed Akhter, a shopkeeper at Mohanpura, said he had been suffering from water shortage for a long time.

“Some wealthy families manage to buy water tankers at Rs1,000 but the poor have to fetch water on foot from the tubewell,” he said, adding that even though the tubewell was installed at Mohanpura, it provided water to Dhoke Ratta and locals suffered from the water shortage.

Another resident, Noor Rehman, said the water supply lines had dried up several days ago but the authorities concerned had not bothered to resolve the issue. He said the water requirement increased in Ramazan but most people were forced to queue outside mosques to get drinking water.

An official of Wasa told Dawn that the issue was in their notice and they were trying to solve the matter. He said they had received the complaints of water shortage from some areas, and had brought the matter with the senior officials.