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BAHAWALNAGAR: In the age when the government is claiming to ensure uninterrupted power and potable water supplies to the countrymen, there is a hamlet of more than 1,000 people in Bahawalnagar which has not been connected with the power grid or any water pipelines.

Holding lanterns and water pots, the people of Basti Abdul Haq in Mauza Nank Chand demonstrated on Sunday, highlighting their stone age like life.

They said the hamlet had been deprived of basic necessities like electricity and potable water since the creation of the country as no government agency or public representative ever bothered to consider their issues.

Participants said the government was facilitating urban masses with rapid bus and train services, there are also several villages in the country which had no basic facilities.

Basti Abdul Haq falls in the constituency of MNA Alam Dad Laleka (NA-189) who has neither visited the area and nor promised the villagers of power and water supplies in the near future.

One of the protesters, Abdul Rehman, told Dawn that two surveys for the provision of electricity to their village were conducted in past years but after that no progress was made. He said due to the unavailability of electricity their children faced great hardships in studies. Besides this, they were also deprived of potable water.

Allah Ditta, another denizen of the village, told Dawn their subsoil water was toxic and they were forced to fetch water from far away places and sometimes they were forced to consume hazardous subsoil water due to which the area people were suffering stomach and liver diseases.

Electricity officials said these power supply schemes were carried out with the development funds of parliamentarians.

SEWAGE: The Canal Colony playground serves buffaloes more than the public as herds of buffaloes can be seen roaming in the knee-deep sewage accumulated there.

The playground located at the Government Canal Colony High School in Bahawalnagar city has been flooded with sewage for the last 15 days due to the choked sewerage system.

The youth of the area expressed their concern over the condition of the ground, which most of the year remain lush green.

Asad Saeed, who along with his fellows maintains the playground on a self-help basis, says the town already lacks playgrounds and those existing are maintained by the youth. He said his group lacked resources to drain out the sewage and get the choked sewerage lines cleared.

He said they had approached the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) to get the water drained, but their repeated requests fell on deaf ears.

TMA Sanitation In Charge Yasin Gardezi said the situation had occurred due to flaws in the newly-installed sewerage system by the Public Health Department and the TMA officials were trying to find and fix faults.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2016