The Health Department has declared the water being supplied to Sialkot, Daska and Sambrial particularly two local hospitals as contaminated and injurious to health.

“The department has directed the management of Govt Allama Iqbal Memorial Teaching Hospital and Govt Sardar Begum Memorial Teaching Hospital to ensure the provision of potable water for patients and their attendants,” said District Health Officer Dr Javaid Warraich.

Talking to newsmen at his office, he said that the Health Department had got examined the water samples of both the hospitals and fifteen other water filtration plants and tube wells at the union council level in Sialkot from Epidemiology Laboratory Lahore. The lab has declared the water as contaminated and injurious to health, he noted. The DHO said that in Sialkot city, water was supplied by the Tehsil Municipal Administration through water filtration plants and tube wells. Seventy five percent urban areas of the city have also been declared as contaminated by the department.

He said that the affected areas of Sialkot city include DCO Colony, Muhammadpura, Water Works,  Shah Syedaan, Hajipura, Habibpura, Pura Heeraan, Rangpura, Ahmedpura, Imam Sahib, Premnagar and Dara Arayiaan.

He said that the Health Department had also got examined the water samples from Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur cities and surrounding areas, and most of these tests, the local water was declared as contaminated. He added that the provision of drinkable water to the people in Sialkot was the prime responsibility of the TMA.

The Health Department has strongly recommended the Sialkot TMA to ensure early provision of potable water to the local inhabitants. He said that the water supply pipelines had broken from various spots wherefrom sewerage mixes in the water resulting in the rapid spread of diseases.

The people are suffering from several water born diseases due to the prolonged usage of the contaminated water. In 2007, the Public Health Engineering Department had chalked a plan for bringing betterment in Sialkot city’s sanitation and drainage system through laying new pipelines.

Under the plan, the special training had to be given to the people regarding raising public awareness of drinking water. But there was no implementation of the project despite the passage of seven consecutive years.

When contacted, TMA officials said that the project was still in pipeline, however, the TMA had no sufficient funds for its implementation. Besides, dozens of water filtration plants have been lying out of order for years in Sialkot, Daska and Sambrial cities. People have been suffering great ordeal due to unavailability of potable water.

The people alleged that the administration had turned a deaf ear to the public appeals for early rectification of these filtration plants. In Sialkot city, the out-of-order plants are situated at Gohadpur, Pakka Garha, Naikapura, Green Wood Street, New Mianapura, Model Town, Hajipura, Sialkot Cantt, College Road, Pak Pura, Puran Nagar and Rangpura.

The people, especially students and teachers said they had made various complaints but to no avail. They are rapidly becoming victim of cholera, hepatitis and other fatal diseases. However, the district and tehsil administrations of Sialkot, Daska and Sambrial held each other responsible for the grave situation.