RAWALPINDI: More than 80pc of water supplied by private tanker services in the garrison city is unfit for human consumption, a laboratory report from the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has found.
The report was presented to Commissioner retired Capt Saif Anjum during a meeting at his offices on Saturday.
It was conducted by Wasa in light of Supreme Court directions to streamline illegal water hydrants and private tankers.
Wasa’s water quality laboratory testing found that 53 illegal water hydrants were supplying water through private tanker services that is not fit for human consumption.
Saturday’s meeting to review arrangements to streamline private water tankers and hydrants was chaired by the divisional commissioner and attended by Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood and senior officials from the Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment boards.
The agency directed to monitor price, quality of water supplied by tankers
The cantonment boards have not conduct tests of water supplied by private tankers and had no details on water hydrants in the area even though more than 70pc of cantonment residents rely on private tankers for their water supply.
A senior district administration official told Dawn that most of NA-59 and parts of NA-60, around Jhelum Road and Airport Road, were acquiring water from private tankers.
He said water quality tests had found that water hydrants were supplying water that was not fit for human consumption.
The district administration has decided to streamline matters by imposing a fee of private tanker services and legalising hydrants, as well as supplying water after it has been chlorinated.
The commissioner asked the civic organisations to ensure that water supplied to citizens is clean, and directed Wasa to monitor the price of water being supplied by tankers and ensure its cleanliness as soon as possible.
He added that the water crisis was a serious issue and should be handled through proper management so that every citizen has access to water as they require.
When contacted, Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood said the water quality report had been presented in the meeting, adding that water needed to be cleaned before it is supplied.
He said there were no private water tankers in the city areas, but water is being supplied to adjoining areas in PP-6.
Mr Mehmood said Wasa had begun work to improve the quality of the water and ensure its price as per the government’s directives.
Water shortage at Adiala jail
The district administration on Saturday took notice of the shortage of water in Central Jail Adiala and asked the public health engineering department to take action immediately.
The prison is facing a shortage of 11,000 gallons of water daily, due to the installation of illegal water hydrants along the area around the jail.
The meeting was held at the deputy commissioner’s office, chaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr Umer Jehangir and attended by Adiala jail superintendent Saeed Gondal and senior district administration officials.
Dr Jehangir told Dawn that the prison has been facing a water shortage due to illegal water hydrants, and action would be taken in this regard.
He said the district council and public health engineering department have been asked to install a tubewell and make arrangements to end the water shortage facing inmates.
Mr Gondal told the meeting that the inmates were facing a water shortage because of the decrease in groundwater. He said the jail administration was attempting to conserve water but arrangements were needed to ensure inmates receive water without any problems.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2018