BAHAWALPUR   -  The number of patients, suffering from kidney diseases, is increasing in Bahawalpur district.

According to the report issued by the Kidney Centre of Bahawal Victoria Hospital, more than 100,000 kidney patients have been admitted to the hospital in first ten months of the current year.

While in 2017, a total of 97,000 patients were admitted to the Kidney Centre which is an alarming situation.

In Bahawalpur, a kidney centre was established at a cost of millions of rupees, but it does not have requisite facilities and appropriate system of kidney transplant.

The reason behind increase in the number of kidney patients is the unavailability of clean drinking water in the district. Substandard bottled water is also sold in the district while the prescriptions by quacks are also causing kidney diseases.

The number of patients, dying due to kidney diseases, is also increasing due to costly procedure of kidney transplant.

Head of Urology Department Dr Shafqat Ali Tabbasum told The Nation that patients from different districts of South Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan came to the Kidney Centre.  He added that unclean drinking water was the major cause of kidney diseases.

"In Bahawalpur and its adjoining areas, underground water level has dropped to more than 100 feet due to which concentration of arsenic in the water has increased. And if concrete steps are not taken to purify the water, the number of kidney patients may increase further."

Former Punjab chief minister had announced the project of artificial lake to recharge the water of Sutlej River and increase the water level, but no funds were issued in this regard due to which the project could not be started.

It has also been learnt that patients from Bahawalpur admitted to Kidney Centre are on top of the list followed by Multan, from Lodhran (12,720) and Rahim Yar Khan (3,282).

People from all over South Punjab demanded ban on sale of substandard foodstuff, and they also demanded stern action against those involved in counterfeit medicines.

Resident of Banker Colony Mohsin Bukhari told The Nation that pipelines for the supply of clean drinking water were installed years ago, but the lines were never made functional.