A few days ago, the daily News in their Islamabad City local news section published that 15 companies selling mineral water in Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been fined for selling contaminated water to people. This act of health department is commendable. However, small fines cannot deter the owners of such dirty businesses because of the huge margins they have as they get water free of cost and sell at exorbitant prices. They have no problem with paying fines and continue to supply sub-standard water to people. The health officials must be vigilant and strictly monitor suppliers of commodities such as water, milk, meat, and other food items. Only casual checking when the issues is highlighted in media is not enough. Their actions seem more of an eyewash than wellness of people.

For example, the former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary, a few years back took notice of water quality of the Rawal Dam. It was revealed that Murree and adjacent areas were that main source of water to the dam. Unfortunately, the water in those areas was being contaminated with chicken feed waste, feces, rotten eggs, and other waste by the huge number of poultry farms along the water streams. They take the easy route and just throw all their waste into the water. The CJ ordered the farms be relocated away from water sources or perhaps install a proper waste management system. It seems that the local administration did not take any action after his retirement. Maybe, because the family of the CM Punjab at the time was itself in the poultry business.

The basic fault seems to be that no one accepts his or her responsibilities and only work to keep the politicians happy for personal gains. They only wake up for cosmetic action if media highlights something. I wish and pray that our government functionaries do their duties honestly and diligently without any political interference.


Islamabad, October 29.