Narowal afflicted with sewage, rainwater muddle

15 Aug 2020

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— Dawn photos
— Dawn photos

NAROWAL: Due to indifferent behaviour of the municipal officers, alleged revenge of PTI legislators from the area, many parts of Narowal city have been submerged by sewage and rainwater after recent rains.

The city is spread over 200 acres, its total population is 1,30,000 and its municipal committee consists of 25 wards. Sanitary arrangements are insufficient in the city and heaps of waste and dirt can be seen everywhere. Open drains are full of dirt and streets and mohallahs have overflowing manholes with stink welcoming one wherever one goes.

Muhammad Iqbal, a resident of Hajwer Colony, says: “Sewerage is often blocked on the Church Road and sewage inundates the road. The locals are at the mercy of the Narowal Municipal Committee and they wade through stinking water for weeks”.

Muhammad Shabbir of the same area says: “In the recent past, sewage and rainwater accumulated in the Pakka Garden Graveyard near Hajwer Colony and more than 100 graves were damaged. The locals, during the current year, the locals collected donations on a self-help basis and constructed a protective wall near the graveyard”.

The municipal committee, instead of opening the blocked sewerage, gave an outlet to the dirty water towards the open land in Model Town, which is causing problems for the residents, says Riaz, another citizen.

Besides Hajwer Colony, dirty water has flooded Mohalla Loharan, Mohallah Chokhhandi, Jilani Colony and Old Main Bazaar.

In Narowal city, if it rains only one or two hours, Zafarwal Road, Katcheri Road, Karbala Mor, MB Girls School Road, Islampura, Chan Pir Road and Mohalla Chokhhandi get submerged by one to two foot water.

Dirty stinking rainwater and sewage enter the houses and keep them flooded for 12 to 24 hours.

The locals, Kamran Ali and Khurram Shahzad, blame the PTI leader who was defeated in NA-78 Narowal in last general election by the PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal for the situation. They say, “The PTI Narowal leadership defeated by PML-N in the national and provincial assembly constituencies has stopped the development projects of the city”.

They allege that the defeated candidates of the PTI are taking political revenge from the citizens by stopping the development and sanitation projects.

“The defeated candidates have started development projects in villages but the citizens of Narowal are being punished for voting for the PML-N,” they claim.

Chief Executive Officer/Municipal Officer Narowal Muhammad Parvez said: “The sanitary condition of the city is very bad. The population of the city has increased manifold but sewerage could not be updated. The sewerage pipelines are very small and the flow of water is more than their capacity”.

He said the municipal committee has Rs200m for development funds but the Government of Punjab has banned all the development projects of Narowal, therefore, we are constrained to provide the facilities by remaining within our meager means.

The citizens have demanded Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to take notice of the situation.

Abrarul Haq, the PTI MNA from the area, was contacted for his point of view but his mobile number was off.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2020