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Women storm Wasa offices

September 21, 2013

LAHORE, Sept 20: A mob on Friday attacked the offices of the Water and Sanitation Agency’s administration directorate to protest suspension of water supply at Shah Jamal for the last couple of days.

Around 60 women entered the directorate premises, broke flower pots, windowpanes and a car’s windscreen. They chanted slogans against the Wasa managing director and other officials and tried to manhandle staff working under the director (admin). No senior officer visited the spot to resolve the issue, making the administration officials literally plead for their rescue. The women left the office after some officials temporarily removed the fault in the tubewell.

A protester said since the locality was facing shortage of water, people lost their patience and resorted to protest.

“You can’t imagine how we escaped a major mob violence incident as the women had threatened to set the directorate offices on fire,” a Wasa official told Dawn. He said the tubewell installed on the administration directorate’s premises actually belonged to Wasa’s Mozang division.

“A few days ago it went out of order. Officials failed to rectify the fault despite their best efforts,” he said. He said now the officials temporarily restored water supply after which the protesters dispersed.

The official said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had offered financial support to Wasa to re-bore the tubewell six month back but the officials did not start work.

Wasa DMD (Operations) Syed Iqtidar Shah told Dawn that since the locality had been facing water issues for long, the government would install one more tubewell near the shrine of Baba Shah Jamal.

“MNA Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has sought permission for it. More tubewells will be installed in other parts of the city as well,” he said.

He said JICA had yet to fund rehabilitation of the existing tubewell at Shah Jamal. “JICA people are conducting study for the rehabilitation of various tubewells,” he said.

He said he couldn’t reach the site as he was busy after he returned from Turkey two days ago.