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G-13 still without sewage treatment plant

ISLAMABAD, May 3: The newly-developed Sector G-13, having some 12,000 housing units, is still without a sewage treatment plant (STP), raising a question mark on the performance of its developers – Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Housing Foundation.

According to an environmentalist, the plants were an essential feature of any housing or commercial unit. An official of the CDA environment wing said the sector was developed in 2009 and launched by the ministry of housing.

“During all these years, the CDA could not make any solid decision regarding the establishment of two much-needed STPs in the sector. Besides, the Housing Foundation has distanced itself from the development of the sewage plant,” added the official.

The official said STP was also missing from the original master plan of the sector, adding these plants are established before the development of any housing unit. He said several thousand houses were already established in the sector; however, no proper water waste disposal mechanism was devised even on an ad hoc basis, ignoring the reality that it could affect the underground water table.

“Ultimately you have to have a modern STP to contain any spillover of contaminated water which may damage the underground water table,” he observed.

A resident of the sector said they were concerned over the absence of a treatment plant and had contacted the Housing Foundation`s technical wing – an underperforming arm of the foundation – but they did not pay any heed to the complaints.

The official said they were told by the foundation officials on a number of occasions that development of the sewage treatment plants rested with the CDA.

When approached, an official of the Housing Foundation said the development of the sector was the responsibility of the CDA and the foundation had nothing to do with the establishment of the sewage treatment plants.

“We can`t do anything, because CDA is working on it and it will be better if you contact the authority,” said the official, distancing himself from the issue.

CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid, while talking to this reporter, said: “We are concerned over the missing facility and also very much aware of the environmental concerns and that was the reason we floated a tender for establishment of two STPs in G-13 and short listed two companies – Nespak and Usmania.”

However, he added, for the time being the project was in limbo “because of the concerns raised by the two companies over the tender, and we are resolving it.”

He said STPs would be developed at G-13/1 and G-13/4. “We have already marked the two sites,” he said when asked why the sites were missing in the original map of the sector.

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