Water is no longer pure in ‘affordable’ sectors of capital

Drainage water seeps into supply line

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Residents of the Sectors I-9 and I-10, which are usually considered affordable for middle income families, have complained of faulty water lines and poor drainage system. They have lodged a complaint with the Chairman of the civic agency, Capital Development Authority (CDA) with regard to poor performance of the Sanitation wing and Water directorate of the authority.
A large number of residents on Friday while talking to Pakistan Observer complained that due to the ineffective and inefficient staff of the Water Directorate and sanitation wing supply and sanitation situation in the sector is turning worse. The rise in temperature has made the lives of the people all the more miserable. Persistent power loadshedding, absence of sufficient number of water filtration plants are usually the major challenges the residents of the sector face every summer. However, this time an added anxiety is the supply water situation. In majority of the houses, drains are choked for years and as a result their water flows into the supply lines and the residents are forced to use that impure water for cooking and washing.
“The situation is alarming but neither the CDA nor the newly constituted Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation is bothered about the ‘smaller’ sectors leaving them to sort out things by themselves,” said a notable figure of the sector Murad Shah.
Another resident Khadeeja Bibi was critical of the civic authorities since they had failed, she said, in providing relief to the residents of the federal capital especially those living in Sectors I-9 and I-10.
“We have lodged several complaints with the CDA against the apathy of the workers of sanitation wing and water directorate calling upon the authority to take them to task for not doing their job, but the CDA chief it seems is more concerned about the lives of those living in posh sectors than those living in smaller ones,” she insisted.
Hafeez, a local vendor in the I-10 Markaz also complained the civic agency was discriminating against the ‘non-posh’ sectors taking them as a part of Rawalpindi. “But we are very much part of Islamabad; we pay our bills taxes and want to enjoy the same facilities that the residents of ‘F’ series sectors are enjoying,” he said. There are a couple of water filtration plants for the Sector 1-10 and they too lie most of the time dysfunctional and waterless. Moreover the drainage in the sector needs a complete overhaul, as it has seeped into the pipes supplying clean water. If CDA doesn’t take urgent measures and resolves the issue on war footing, outbreak of diseases hepatitis B, C, diarrhea, dengue and others is feared, said a visibly irritated Hafeez.
Nafeesa Begum an elderly woman living in the Sector I-10 said she was on the verge of leaving the sector as water is essential for normal and smooth living. If our children are not safe from the water-borne disease there is no point in living in Islamabad’s comparatively affordable sector, she said. An official of the water directorate when contacted said the matter is very much in the knowledge of the CDA but replacing old lines with the new ones is a gigantic task and requires proper planning. However, he said a decision would soon be made in this regard.

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