THE inability of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to channel waste water of over 15 housing societies as well as the industrial units from Thokar Niaz Baig to Mohalanwal Bridge is taking the City towards a disaster, The News has learnt.
A survey conducted by The News revealed that, there are 15 housing societies and dozens of small and big industrial units from Thokar Niaz Baig to Mohalanwal Bridge where there was no proper sewerage system by the Wasa and these societies were directly discharging their wastewater into Lahore Canal and subsoil of the area.
Talking to The News, EPD Director Naseem ur Shah said that it was the liability of the Wasa and the LDA for arranging environmentally sound treatment and disposal of wastewater in the area. He said that the district officials of the Environment Protection Department (EPD) had conducted survey of these housing societies, industrial units and other entities discharging untreated wastewater into Lahore Canal and subsoil in the area of Thokar Niaz Baig to Mohalanwal Bridge. He said that no main sewer had been laid there by the Wasa due to which all these societies and industries were discharging there wastewater directly into Lahore Canal and into the subsoil of the area, causing environmental pollution in the area.
EPD Director Naseem said that majority of the housing societies had pits in their respective societies which was very dangerous because these pits were polluting the underground water of the area.
He said that the department had issued several Environment Orders (EPOs) to Wasa officials to install the main trunk sewer line in the said locality but to no avail. He said that the department had issued final EPO to the Wasa according to which Wasa officials would have to start the installation work of main trunk sewerage line within next 30 days, otherwise the EPD would file a case against the Wasa in the Environmental Tribunal for the implementation of these orders.
A senior environmental expert, Akhtar H Awan, told The News that wastewater which was being injected directly into the subsoil had adverse effects because it might take over hundred years to purify the underground water of this area. He said that underground water mixed with the wastewater caused bone deformation diseases besides the liver and stomach diseases. He said that government should install the trunk sewer line in the said locality on immediate basis because the after effects of the pollution of underground water would be irreparable.
When contacted, Wasa MD Dr Javed Iqbal said that the department had already been already working on this project but the unavailability of funds was the basic reason for the delay of this project.
He said the Lahore Development Authority had received the specific amount from all the private societies situated at the Thokar Niaz Baig but those funds were only 10 percent of the total cost for the installation of trunk sewer line.
The Wasa MD said that he had asked the Punjab government for the required funds for this project and soon this project would be initiated.
On the other hand, Lahore Commissioner Jawad Rafique told The News that the government had enough funds for this project and soon tender notice of the project would be advertised.