SIALKOT-Various diseases are spreading in Bhopalwala, the second largest town in tehsil Sambrial, due to consumption of water mixed with industrial waste and sewerage.

The industrial waste in Sialkot city is disposed of in nullahs Aik and Palkhu which flow just 20 feet below the town, said the local people including Qamar Abbas and Javed.

Likewise, water supply pipes and sewerage lines are running parallel and at many a place the water lines pass through the drains, where they get rusty and resultantly crack. The sewerage mixes the water supplied to every house in the town, said an aged citizen. The poor have no access to potable water. A few people buy bottled water. Most of them are bound to bring water from the hand pumps installed on Malkhanwala Bridge, Upper Chenab Canal, three kilometres away from the town.

“We have shared this problem with the local municipal office over a hundred times but nobody is willing to solve our problems. The town is ridden with diseases. Hepatitis A, B & C dwell in every house. Over 10,000 individuals are hepatitis C positive. The Basic Health Unit lacks medicines and doctors and the people have to go to Daska, Sambrial or Sialkot for treatment,” the people said. “It is the third time I have started over again with my HCV positive wife’s medication,” said Qamar.

“The people have to buy water for Rs20 a gallon from the rickshaws drivers who bring water from nearby canals,” said Sughran Bibi, a villager. A few weeks ago, Jamaatud Dawa has installed a water filtration plant in the town and another is under construction.

When contacted, BHU In-charge Dr Akram said that along with municipal town committee, over 15 quacks are playing with the health of the people in the town. He admitted that the hospital lacked facilities. However, Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital Dr Abdul Jabbar daily visits the town on his own and serves the people free of cost.

However, Tariq Mehmood, a tube-well operator, claimed that there was no issue with the water being supplied to the people. Town Committee Chief Officer Sarwar denied to comment on the issue, saying that he was no more in charge of the town committee. TMO Syed Asad Hussain was unaware of the situation.