ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) has taken notice of the shortage of water, the supply of contaminated water and the lack of a water policy for the federal capital.
The commission has also decided to call all stakeholders to find a long term solution for the shortage of water in the capital city.
Last week, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued an advisory urging concerned authorities to take timely preventative measures to minimize the chances of disease outbreaks before monsoon.
The advisory called for the repair of damaged water lines and the chlorination of water.
The commission has called a meeting of concerned departments to find a long-term solution to the water crisis in the city
In the advisory, the institute said sewerage and water supply lines run side-by-side and are damaged, leading to sewerage water getting mixed with clean water.
“Water-borne diseases, attributed to the consumption of unsafe water and non-observance of proper sanitation and preventative measures, may pose a serious challenge for the health and water and sanitation authorities,” it said.
The institute has suggested careful watch on water supply systems, repair of damaged water pipes, sewerage lines and systems without delay.
Talking to Dawn, NCHR member Chaudhry Mohammad Shafique said due to the shortage of water in the city, it has been decided to call concerned departments within two weeks and ask them to devise a strategy and analyse how the commission can help them make a policy for providing citizens of the city with clean drinking water.
The departments called include the Municipal Corporation, Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad District Administration, the managements of Simly and Khanpur dams and the Water and Power Development Authority.
“Everyone has the right to be supplied clean drinking water but the government does not have a policy for this. The CDA has been dealing with water related issues in the urban areas of Islamabad and the Islamabad Capital Territory administration deals with these issues in rural areas but they do not coordinate with one another for this,” he said.
A proposal for bringing water in from the Indus River to Islamabad via a pipeline was made in 2004, Mr Shafique said, and that the proposal was also put forward to the cabinet. The project did not materialise which is why the availability of clean drinking water has become a big problem.
“We need to devise a long term solution and not stop gag arrangements, for which we will play our role,” he said.
The availability of water has become a major issue across the city, especially in the G and I sectors, leading a Jamaat-i-Islami leader and former MNA Mian Mohammad Aslam, to display a number of posters across the city demanding the water problem to be addressed.
Residents of the federal capital have on many occasions held protests against the CDA due to the unavailability of water and though there is a ban on boring, a large number of people have bored as they do not have another option. The CDA also largely ignored complaints of boring as it is aware that the water crisis has become huge.
Source: Dawn News