LAHORE - The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has yet to replace about 40 per cent main water supply lines and 0.2 million house lines identified either as outlived, broken or rusty in the areas falling within the ambit of the Agency. As the worst situation persists, the provision of clean drinking water to the City remains a far cry leading to the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as gastroenteritis. Despite the fact that water-borne diseases always play havoc with the lives of people especially children when Monsoon sets in, the Wasa is still to ensure the supply of clean potable water. Sources revealed that the Wasa was entrusted to complete the project of replacing worn-out water supply lines in one year after its initiation in 2005. However, the project could not be completed due to a number of reasons even after the lapse of three years. Main reason attributed to this inordinate delay was the incapability of HDP pipe manufacturers to deliver in time and entertain the demand. But they furnished their excuse by replying that as the project was initiated throughout the Punjab simultaneously, their production capacity could not meet the rising demand, they maintained. The sources said the Agency had asked the then government to allow it to import HDP pipes but it turned down Wasas request by saying 'as per policy, no item can be imported. As the owners of pipe manufacturing companies had greased the palm of the ministers, therefore, the then government dropped the suggestion and the order could not be taken back from the said companies, Wasa sources disclosed. They said that though the financial year 2008-09 had drawn to close, the supply of HDP pipes could not improve. Resultantly, the Wasa that carried Rs 198 million for the project during this fiscal year had to surrender Rs 150 million to the Punjab government. Out of Rs 150 million, Rs 48 million was allocated for laying down HDP pipes by replacing rusty house connections. After conducting a survey the Agency ascertained that out of total 4,000 km long main water supply lines, 706 km lines were outlived. Authority concerned also examined that out of total 0.5 million, about 2 and a half house lines had been worn out. They also observed that contaminated water from surface and sewerage pipelines had been mixing into main water supply lines as well as those lines connected to the house and if the latter were not replaced, contamination would take to its toll. Taking cognisance of the situation, the Agency launched a mega plan costing Rs 1367.8 million in 2005, which included replacement of outlived water supply lines, purchasing of 17 water browsers, upgrading of Wasa lab and installation of 150 chlorinators on different tube wells. Rs 361 million were also allocated for the replacement of house lines. At present, the Wasa has completed the project of laying down main water supply lines of 4 to 12 diameters in Shalimar Town and Aziz Bhatti Town. However, it completed its 80 per cent work in Allama Iqbal Town, 60 per cent in Nishtar Town, 65 per cent in Ravi Town and 71 per cent in Data Gunj Buksh Town while it had replaced around 20 thousand lines out of 2 and a half rusty house lines. The sources also revealed that Gulberg, Samanabad and Wagha towns were with a high risk of water contamination as they were out of Wasa jurisdiction. Water is usually clean at the source, but becomes contaminated by the time it reaches the end-users, a Wasa official seeking anonymity said. According to United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report, 47 per cent drinking water in Lahore is unfit and contaminated and has massive presence of residuals of coliform (human and animal waste, surface water, or other sources of contamination).