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LAHORE, July 28: Wasa, which is facing severe financial crisis at the moment, has given android phones to parliamentarians belonging to the ruling PML-N in Punjab to monitor monsoon and identify dengue larva breeding sites.

Sources told Dawn that the Wasa administration bought latest models of cell phones to MNA Mian Marghoob Ahmad and MPAs Chaudhry Shahbaz Ahmad, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Naveed Anjum, Haji Allah Rakha, Mohsin Latif, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Ijaz Ahmad Khan, Dr Saeed Elahi, Ramzan Sidique Bhatti, Mian Naseer Ahmad, Yasin Sohal, Rana Tajamal Hussain and Saiful Malook Khokhar.

“It is astonishing that the Wasa administration, which has been in the grip of a severe financial crunch for the last couple of years, has bought latest cell phones to parliamentarians despite the fact that the work they have been assigned is already being done by scores of Wasa and city government workers,” an official told Dawn requesting anonymity. He said these lawmakers could perform such duties using their personal phones.

Wasa official Imtiaz Ghauri said the agency didn’t pay for these cell phones. “The chief minister had given Rs30 million to Wasa sometime ago to deal with the monsoon. Wasa bought cell phones for lawmakers from these funds,” he explained. “The lawmakers will return these phones to Wasa at the end of the monsoon season,” he added. Wasa Managing Director Mian Abdullah told Dawn that these phones had not been given to lawmakers to make or receive calls. He said “these are android phones, which will be used only for making pictures and sending these to officials”. Lawmakers would only use these phones during monsoon, he added.

MPA Dr Saeed Elahi told a TV channel that the lawmakers would return these cell phones to Wasa after using these in monsoon.