KOHAT: A committee of the residents of oil and gas-rich Darmalak area of Lachi tehsil here has boycotted the ongoing anti-polio campaign in protest against what they said the ‘denial’ of basic facilities like clean drinking water, gas supply, construction of roads and provision of electricity promised by a foreign exploration company since discoveries were made in 2005.

On Monday, additional deputy commissioner Shehryar Qamar and the Lachi assistant commissioner held talks with the protesting committee members to pursue them to end the polio drive’s boycott, but the talks broke down and the polio campaign could not be resumed.

The committee head Mufti Roohul Amin and other members on Monday barred the polio teams from administering drops to children. They said they had been visiting the authorities concerned in Peshawar and Kohat time and again to urge them to provide the area residents with electricity and gas, but their appeals had fallen on deaf ears.

On the other hand, SNGPL officials claimed that residents of Lachi tehsil had been refusing the installation of meters and had taken illegal connections from the main pipeline, which had reduced pressure to the tail-end consumers in Hangu.

However, an elder said the people had submitted 800 applications for installation of meters, but SNPGL officials were yet to process them.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Dr Azamatullah Wazir visited different parts to check progress of the campaign.

Mr Wazir appealed to the people to cooperate with the polio teams in vaccination of their children to save them from lifelong disability.

WATER SUPPLY: The residents on Monday complained the Water Supply and Sanitation Company had yet to repair a broken water pipeline in Garhi Jaat area, due to they had been getting contaminated water for last two days.

The residents said the water could not even be used for washing utensils, clothes and taking baths.

However, WSSC deputy general manager Tahir Afif told Dawn on contact that the company had provided water tankers to the residents. He said teams had located the fault and started removing it. He said clean water supply in the pipeline would be restored by early Tuesday (today).

Meanwhile, the tehsil municipal administration started a cleanliness drive in the tribal subdivision of Dara Adamkhel on the directives of Kohat deputy commissioner Dr Azamatullah Wazir on Monday.

The deputy commissioner also asked the tribesmen to dispose of waste at the allotted places of the TMA and avoid littering the streets.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2023

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