The silt and trash lying near a cleaned culvert in Haripur. — Dawn
The silt and trash lying near a cleaned culvert in Haripur. — Dawn

HARIPUR: The ongoing desilting of water channels in the Haripur city has exposed the residents to worst pollution owing to delayed removal of garbage from the sides of channels, locals have complained.

The TMA authorities launched the annual desilting drive in the city on Jan 12 which will continue till Feb 12.

The TMA staff is engaged in removing the accumulated sand, silt and solid waste from the five main water channels passing through the city.

These water channels were constructed during the era of Hari Singh Nalwa, the founder of Haripur, for sanitation-cum-irrigation purposes.

However, whenever the water stops flowing in these channels the city of green orchards turns into garbage dump and the stench fills alleys making it difficult for the residents to breathe.

With the launch of desilting campaign, the residents face similar problems every year and the situation gets worse, especially when the authorities fail to remove garbage from the sides of channels.

“Haripur city presents the look of a garbage dumping ground which has made it very difficult for us to breathe,” Naseer, a resident of Mohallah Qadeem, deplored. He said despite complaints the TMA authorities did not clear the garbage.

Waheed, a resident of Mohallah Loharan, said despite the fact that the Environment Protection Act was in force in the province the TMA authorities themselves were violating the law.

He said the garbage remained uncollected for days from the sides of channels exposing the residents to multiple problems.

Gul Hasan, another resident, said although desilting of water channels was imperative for protecting the property of the residents from getting damaged during rains, the policy of using delaying tactics by TMA staff not only proved hazardous for the residents but also the garbage fell back into the channels leaving the entire exercise useless.

He suggested the TMA increase the number of workers engaged in the campaign together with expediting the process of disposing the waste of.

When contacted, TMO Shehryar Khan told this correspondent that his staff delayed the removal of garbage owing to rains for three days.

He said 90 per cent desilting work had been completed and the remaining would be done by the scheduled date.

He complained the residents were not cooperating with the TMA staff and filled the water channels afresh with shopping bags and other solid waste.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2019