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Lack of maintenance: filtration plants losing utility

February 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: Most of the filtration plants installed in the city to provide clean drinking water to the citizens have gone partially or completely out of order over the last three months for want of repairs.

As a result queues of water-seekers have been lengthening outside the few plants still working.

“These queues reflect the neglect of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to its responsibilities as much as the misery of the people,” said a resident, Sheikh Amin Ahmed.

According to sources, former chairman CDA Kamran Lashari had announced that water filtration plants would be installed in all the residential sectors. Later, former chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi kept installing filtration plants, raising their number to 37 in the city. Initially, people got drinking water from the filtration plants but the civic agency did not give proper attention to their maintenance due to which one by one their taps became dry. Only three or four of the plants are now in working condition and the rest are out of order and have stopped supply of water to the residents.

Shams Niazi, a resident of G-9, told Dawn that in the past they used to drink water from the supply line but four years back the CDA displayed banners all over the city warning the consumers not to use the tap water for drinking as it could cause hepatitis. The civic body encouraged the residents to use water from the filtration plants, he added.

“We started using water from the filtration plants and fetched water from these plants almost every day. After some time when we became used to drinking water from these plans, they stopped working. If the CDA was not in a position to ensure maintenance of the plants, it should not have started the project. We have been forced to buy drinking water from private companies because now it is not possible for us to drink tap water,” he said.

After the appointment of new chairman CDA, Farkhand Iqbal, residents of the city were expecting that the matter would be resolved because in his very first press conference Mr Iqbal had assured the citizens that he had come from the Planning Division and could understand and resolve their problems. But now it seems he has also come to resolve the problems of the elite class, not the common people, he said.

Amin Ahmed said all taps in the filtration plants at sector G-9/3 and G-10/3 were out of order. He appealed to the chairman CDA to ensure maintenance of the plants.

An officer of the CDA requesting not to be named said: “The filtration plants were installed on the recommendation of some influential people. Now the management does not have any interest in maintaining and keeping them in working condition.”

The CDA chairman and member engineering Sanaullah Aman could not be contacted. However, CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid said the new chairman had already instructed the departments concerned to give preference to the civic problems and “surely the water filtration plants will also be repaired soon.”