Despite a clear warning and deadline given to the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) with regard to cleaning and repairing of Nullah Leh, the agency is far from doing its job and meeting the deadline. Sources in the District government told Pakistan Observer here on Friday that sizzling heat and advent of Ramazan are the two main factors attributed to this delay in meeting the deadline.
Earlier in May, Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal had asked Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to expedite work to clean Leh Nullah by the end of the month. Now the month has passed three days before yet the task is not accomplished. The DC had issued the direction during a visit to the Wasa office and the site where the machinery have been installed to desilt the nullah. Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood and other officials were also present.
‘The Punjab government has allocated Rs200 million for the solution of problems during floods in the monsoon season in the city areas and the process will be completed in three years. In this regard, the first phase has started to clear obstacles in Leh Nullah before the start of the monsoon season, said the deputy commissioner. He said the provincial government was paying attention to the capacity building of the civic bodies, especially Wasa, to deal with flood-like situations during monsoon.
He said there was a need to stop people from dumping solid waste and construction material waste into the nullah as it blocked the smooth flow of water. The district administration has imposed a ban on the dumping of solid waste in the nullah and it should be implemented, he said. The deputy commissioner directed Wasa to ensure that all the machinery, including flood warning system and the water pumping machines were in a working condition.
He also asked Wasa to check the flood siren system and flood measuring gadgets installed in the nullah so that the citizens would be alerted about any flood situation during heavy rains. Earlier, the Wasa managing director informed the deputy commissioner that the agency had completed repairing the machinery. He said Wasa had already procured 28 pumping sets to drain water in case of a flood during the monsoon.
He said Rs25 million had been released to Wasa for the cleanliness of Leh Nullah from Kattarian Bridge to Gawalmandi Bridge and the work would be completed by the end of May.
The contractors were directed to shift the waste of Leh Nullah outside the city areas,‘ he said, adding there was a need to create awareness among the residents and the government departments to stop dumping solid waste on the banks of Leh Nullah. However, despite all the assurances, the work is still incomplete posing a big question mark on governance issues.