By Syed Jamil Uddin
QUITE WISTFULLY, it has been divulged by the dwellers of the cluster of houses in the vicinity of Sehhat Foudantion Hospital Danyore that they are made subject to an interminable discrimination by WASA officials of the area for a long time insofar as adequate supply of piped water during the scheduled 2-hour supply each morning is concerned. This bespeaks gross insensitivity and apparent nonchalance demonstrated by the officials in the matter of equitable supply of the available drinking water to the residents of the twin-mohellahs (Shabikeehet and those in the vicinity of Sehhat Foundation) in that it has become their wont to seldom turn fully ‘on’ what they call the regulatory valve even for a single hour let alone the 2-hour scheduled supply time every day. In consequence thereof, the partial flow which literally makes a mere fraction of the maximal capacity of the main supply line, seldom caters to the needs of even a very few who may luckily have advantageous connections while rest are virtually desperate to slake their thirst, excoriate Sakhawat Shah, Ali Rehmat, Shiraz, Athar Hussain and Fida Bulchi representing the dwellers of the locality.
They explained in furtherance that the situation exacerbated recently when the main three inch dia line carrying water from Shabikeehet Mosque down to Haji Master Fida house was buried unfathomably deep during the course of ongoing upgradation of link road from KKH to Baig market as the WASA people whose primary responsibility it was to seek protection of main supply, acted as silent spectators without any plausible reason. This lackadaisical approach and gross negligence led the contractor to go ahead quite untrammeled with the erection of retaining-walls and filling of the upgraded portion passing through the said mohellahs. This also resulted in damages to some of the half inch dia pipes carrying potable water to some of the households wholly disrupting water supply. The lie of the land as they say, is such that the tail-enders of the locality suffer all the more as their water connections of the households are now lying far deep underneath and have totally gone irretrievable.
This, at long last, triggered a protest by women and children of the locality on fifteenth instant which ended peacefully upon the intervention of tehsildar of the sub-divisional administration who promptly paid a visit to the spot, took sock of the situation and unequivocally ensured that the problem would be resolved instantly in collaboration with the respective officials of both WASA and B&R. A wide coverage was given to the protest in the regional print media.
This was soon followed by a meeting at tehsil office the same day with the elders of the mohellah in which the WASA people, first going untraced earlier in the day on their respective cell phones, lastly became available to participate late at noon. However, the WASA officials as it is told, promised to fix all issues concerning equitable supply of water including the core issue id est replacement of the pipeline buried by the contractor employed by the B&R division responsible for the execution of the link road. They equally ensured in quite unequivocal terms that three inch dia pipe would be replaced right from the Mosque down the Master Fida House if at all the B&R – the executing agency – does not get the pipes unearthed. But notwithstanding this, nothing tangible appears to have been done on the ground in this context while the blacktopping of the road is likely to be taken in hand shortly afterwards which if done would perpetuate the burial of the main supply line and the sad plight of the dwellers will be compounded further, the residents disclose.
Thus the core issue is id est the replacement of three inch main supply line from Shabaka mosque to Haji master Fida House which as referred earlier, stands buried. Given this, the matter requires to be dealt with urgently by way of replacement of about 1200 ft 3inch pipe line to mitigate the hardships of dwellers of the locality while directing the WASA officials manning the regulatory valve to turn it on to the full capacity of the pipeline to ensure an equitable supply as per schedule.
This discriminatory supply of scant and insufficient potable water, as they residents attribute, is primarily due to the whimsical regulatory ploys of WASA officials on duty who are reluctant to turn the valve on to the capacity of the main pipeline. In this connection, they refer to how WASA turned completely the regulatory valve on the day the tehsildar visited the spot on fifteenth instant and how the main line carrying full water sufficed the needs of all unclogged household on that occasion. But nonetheless, this lasted for a day or two but was reverted to the old capricious supply. However, on the Eid day again, the pipe carried water to its capacity which too, was sadly discontinued the other day. The residents disclosed that in the recent meeting held at tehsil Danyore, a strong exception was taken by the magistrate as to 2” dia connection given by WASA to commercial units and the unhindered supply to barber saloons, emphasizing urgent need to disconnect all illegal connection to ensure just and equitable supply. It becomes imperative therefore, that the legitimate demands including laying of 3inch pipeline as above are met at the earliest to mitigate hardships of the dwellers. They residents say that the 3-inch pipe not involving that much amount can be laid easily by the contractor if both WASA and B&R may coordinate in the interest of public at this stage when the blacktopping is yet to be done. It is also desirable that WASA henceforth erects safety-boxes at the specified spots for giving household connections in the aftermath of proposed laying of above pipeline.
The writer is a Gilgit-based freelance contributor. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org