Rawalpindi-Several populated areas of Union Council (UC) 85 Dhama Syedan have been facing acute water shortage for last many months due to apathy of the concerned authorities.

The affected areas are Sadiq Town, Ali Town, Mumtaz Market, Dhama Syedan, Dhoke Niaz Ali, Christian Colony, Ziarat Baba Shahmur Town, Kalhoor, Kehkashan Colony, Chungi Number 20, Munawar Colony, Hill View Lane, Jarahi, Janjua Town, Junejo Colony and Pakeeza Store Street.

These are the most populated areas with more than 400,000 population, but only one tank is operating that too fails in providing drinking water to the inhabitants triggering severe water shortage .  People are going to far-flung areas to fetch water or compelled to buy water tanker even on high rates.

“We have been facing water shortage for last many months and even lodged complaints with relevant authorities but all in vain,” said Afhan Khatoon, a house wife, while talking to The Nation on Tuesday.

Asif Khan, a resident of Sadiq Town, said the government has launched a water scheme and built a tank on a hilltop but water was not being supplied to the people. He said despite of the fact, the authorities dispatched water bills every month.

“We buy water tanker against Rs 1000 that cater our needs not for more than five days. It is difficult to manage with water tankers. The government should provide us water,” he said.

Tariq Khan, hailing from Adiala Road, said that there were no such arrangements made to provide water. He said people have to fetch water from far-flung areas to meet the daily needs. He said, “We can’t afford water tank that is costly and unaffordable and we have to pay Rs 2000 twice a week to get water from this source.”

Another resident alleged that the tanker mafia is looting and making money by selling water at high prices.

The residents warned of a protest if their demand is not fulfilled. Chaudhry Imran Ilyas, PML-N Chairman UC-85, however, when contacted by The Nation, admitted that there was acute water shortage in the areas saying electric motors in Dehgal have become dysfunctional.  He said he had held meetings with MD WASA to resolve the issue. He said Federal Interior Minister/MNA NA-52 Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has also approved two more wells with cost of Rs 280 million.

“The wells will be dug out in Dehgal village and new pipe lines will also be laid soon to supply water to the residents,” the Chairman said.