LAHORE - The 60 feet deep huge pond covering 57 Kanal of land being used to dump sewerage and drainage water besides solid waste and garbage in Taj Bagh Housing Scheme has become a real death trap and breeding place for insects and rats leading to many casualties. On the other hand instead of taking concrete steps to resolve the issue authorities concerned, over the last many years, have been investing all their energies on just promising the people for solving the same. The gigantic pond has become permanent sign of panic among the residents as when it rains, rainwater turns the pond into huge water reservoir, which also inundates the surrounding houses, parks, mosques and markets after overflow. The monsoon season with heavy downpours adds fuel to the fire. The residents have to remain stranded into their houses and those who dare to walk out cannot escape slipping into the swamping spots. While innumerable passers-by have already fell into it and died. In past, a tractor trolley skidded into it and capsised with no clue. Heavy cranes were called which found out trolley after rigorous efforts of three days. The new electric polls erected in particular area remain under deep water and may cause a number of casualties if there are electrified any day. As the Solid Waste Management (SWM) staff seldom visits the housing scheme, heaps of garbage keep mounting leading to stink which engulfs not only the entire housing scheme, but also the adjacent localities. Since stagnant water is a major cause of malaria and dengue fever, pond has become a symbol of death. Mosquitoes and flies keep on roaming around freely posing constant danger to human health. None of the elected representative particularly, Samina Khalid Ghurki (MNA-elect) of PPP, Rana Tajammul Hussain (MPA-elect) of PML-N or the authorities concerned including DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta have ever visited the areas to address the problem. No mechanism has been evolved for proper and environment friendly disposal of wastewater and solid waste management. The CDGL has also not bothered to launch anti-mosquito fumigation campaign. Business activity in the locality has also come to a grinding halt. Markets and shops are often closed as water not only remains accumulated in front of them but also enters these shops quite often. This water is also undermining the foundation of houses and other buildings and continuous seepage can result into house collapse. The pond has also disconnected the residents from the local graveyard. Right way to mosque also remains flooded restricting the mobility of faithful. It may be recalled that WASA had installed a disposal station with Rs 0.1 million near the pound to flush out the water but the removal of water remained a dream as the machinery got dysfunctional and could not be repaired due to reason best known to authority concerned. WASA also promised to lay down a one kilometre long drain to get it connected with trunk sewerage along the canal to ensure the discharge of water from the pond. But the project seems to have been put on back burner.   Sources said that LDA had declared the Taj Bagh Housing Scheme as illegal. Authority concerned claimed that its owner decamped with millions of rupees as defaulter of LESCO, they added. Sources revealed that Taj Bagh Scheme was a different project because the Punjab Irrigation Department was responsible for issuing a licence. Residents of Taj Bagh Scheme has demanded of the Punjab Chief Minister to rescue them before it is too late.   Some days back, WASA vice chairman Bilal Yaseen accompanied by WAPDA MD Javed Iqbal visited the area and listened to the complaints of residents. He ordered the MD to probe into the matter and submit the report within two days. He also claimed that if the owner of the scheme was found responsible for the problem, he would be taken to task. When this scribe contacted MD, WASA Javed Iqbal to know status of the probe, he replied that the case had been forwarded to Anti-Corruption Department and as soon as it gets finalised, prompt action would be taken. He said that CM Shahbaz Sharif had also issued directions in this regard.