RAWALPINDI: A joint team of the district administration, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Saturday sealed 15 illegal hydrants to ensure smooth supply of water to Adiala Jail and nearby residential areas.

The prison administration had sought help from the district administration against the illegal water hydrants in and around the premises that were causing disruptions in the water supply to the area.

The jail superintendent in a letter a few months ago informed the divisional commissioner that the prison housed more than 5,000 inmates and there was an acute shortage of water.

“In view of the water shortage, the jail administration tried to install tubewells but the underground water table is receding in the area due to the presence of illegal hydrants at Dagaal and Gorakhpur areas where private tankers were extracting water and supplying to adjacent urban areas on payments.”

Action taken by joint team on jail administration’s complaint

This practice should be stopped to resolve the acute water shortage in the jail which may further aggravate, the letter said.

When the commissioner office asked Wasa to take action, the agency said the area did not fall in its jurisdiction.

Upon this, RMC was asked for action but it also informed the commissioner office that the area was out of its jurisdiction.

A senior official of the district administration said the area fell in the jurisdiction of the Public Health Department which should take action against the illegal hydrants.

He said in 2018, the Supreme Court had asked the civic bodies to take action against the illegal hydrants and streamline the private water tankers because they supplied water to people which was not fit for human consumption.

The official said that on the directives of the deputy commissioner Rawalpindi, Assistant Commissioner Saddar Abdul Rehman conducted an operation with a joint team from Wasa and the RMC against the illegal hydrants.

In Adiala Road, Dagal and Gorakhpur areas, more than 15 illegal hydrants were sealed and their motors confiscated. The official said water supply to Adiala Jail was also affected due to floods.Wasa Deputy Director Rana Shamsur Rehman, Town Officer Rafaqat Gondal and police officials sealed the illegal hydrants and confiscated their motors and pumps.

The hydrants were selling contaminated water to the citizens at exorbitant rates.

The assistant commissioner said due to the illegal hydrants, groundwater in the area had depleted as they were involved in commercial sale of water.

He said owners of the illegal hydrants will not be allowed to extract and supply water under any circumstances. They have been directed to register the hydrants with the administration immediately, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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