[Originally published in The Nation City page]
ISLAMABAD – Whereas it is a must for everyone to take steps to conserve water in order to minimise the risk of a severe water shortage and wastage of electricity, it is also for the authorities concerned to take measures to ensure that water is not being wasted.
Leaks from several underground water pipes can be witnessed around the capital, and at a greater magnitude in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi, often creating a pool of water on the roadside, and many a times in the middle of the road. This becomes a public nuisance as well, causing inconvenience to pedestrians, motorcyclists, and drivers alike.
“There are few days I get home without mud stains on my clothes caused by speeding cars. The accumulation of water is either due to leakage of pipes or sewerage lines,” complained Mukhtar Bibi, who works as a domestic servant in Islamabad.
Leaking taps can also be seen at the water filtration plants constructed by the CDA. The water from these leaks often seeps into the ground and road around these plants, causing further inconvenience.
Another problem that the authorities need to keep a check on is the flowing of water from over-filled tanks in houses, as well as the public water tanks built in each sector.
“I am sometimes compelled to ring the bell of my neighbours’ houses when I hear water leaking from their tanks continuously. It hurts to see such wastage when many people even in supposedly developed areas face water shortages!” exclaimed Asma Mumtaz, a housewife.
She further complained that in the G-11 sector, there is already a shortage of water and people often have to rely on the services of private tankers, which charge Rs. 500 for filling half a tank. She added that the CDA tankers are usually unavailable, or show up at odd timings at night when called for in the evenings.
The negligence of these authorities is a gross violation of the duty they owe to the public, especially because it is the public that funds all the finances of these authorities through taxes. Moreover, it is worse for the authorities to waste a resource as scarce as water.
What the authorities need to do is employ a mechanism under which a few people keep a check for any water leakages in designated areas, and act quickly to remedy the leakage so that the public does not have to suffer.
This employment will be worth the cost, as the cost of its absence can be a lot higher for everyone.