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RAWALPINDI: Scores of women on Tuesday staged a protest outside the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) against shortage of water in the civilian populated areas for over a month.

Senior officials of the cantonment board, however, did not pay attention to the issue of the protesters from Tench Bhatta and Chungi Number 22 and left their offices.The RCB is supplying water to the civilian populated areas after four days for half an hour. There is no shortage in the upscale localities where the residents get water on a daily basis.

Afshan Colony, People’s Colony, Dhoke Syedan, Burf Khana Chowk, Misrial Road and Allahabad are facing water shortage while Westridge-1, 2 and 3, Range Road, Qasim Market and adjoining areas face no such issue.

“We are getting water after four days for 15 minutes to half an hour. We have to fetch water from adjoining army residential colony where there is no water shortage,” said Shaheen Bibi, a resident of Tench Bhatta.

She said the water supply system of the RCB was faulty as the tubewell operators were charging consumers for supplying water to specific areas.

Nusrat Ahmed, a resident of 22 No Chungi, said the water shortage had forced the women to stage the protest but the RCB officials did not register their complaints.

She said the citizens were paying all the taxes but facilities were being provided to those who did not pay property or any other tax as they belonged to the privileged class.

It was the second protest against the water shortage in cantonment in Ramazan. On Monday, the residents of Mughalabad and Azizabad had also taken to the streets.

But the complaints lodged by the residents of the civilian areas are yet to be resolved.

The residents had pinned high hopes in their elected members of local government but all the RCB members belonged to the PML-N who remained busy in the public meetings of their party during the last two years.

The RCB officials are of the view that there are 52 tubewells which are not enough to meet the daily requirement of the residents as supply from Khanpur Dam has reduced.

They said the RCB could not provide water to the residents on a daily basis. However, they had no answer when asked why tubewell operators did not open the supply on time and provided water to selected areas.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018

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