Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) came into being by the Lahore Development Authority in 1976 for the designing, planning and maintenance of water supply, sewerage and drainage system in Lahore in order to provide clean tap water and avoid puddles of water all over the city which makes the life of citizens difficult. The main problem faced by WASA is that the ground level water is declining day by day as there is mismanagement by the institution. Lahore is spread over an area of 1770 sq.km but WASA can only assist 770 sq.km of an area for the rest there are private agencies which are providing water with their own rigid policies. WASA is facing many problems in providing safe water for households and controlling the overflow of sewerage. Water depletion is always monitored by WASA and it was found that it was depleting 3 feet every year. Safe water is being contaminated due to the mixing of contaminated water from the decaying sewage lines which had never been cleaned after the installation.

Hand pumps, shallow wells and electric motors suck water from the deep ground and this had contributed to the depletion of water level, and the quality of that water is very poor there is no filter which leads to deadly diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and many other water-borne diseases. Half of the problems arise from the miscommunication between the cleaning sectors of the government. For example, if the solid waste WASA had claimed that due to the unplanned expansion of the metropolitans there is no proper sewerage system which causes a lot of problems not for the new societies and for the already existing societies,

The city faced a water wastage problem at a huge level due to lack of preservation, as almost every year 36 billion litres of rainwater flows into the river Ravi although the city’s population is 20 million. There is more need for clean water to fulfil the need through heavy pumps to extract groundwater which is depleting the water level.

If the water is not collected it will run down in the sewerages and they will get choked and underground water will be contaminated. To avoid all these problems, a proper sewerage plan needs to be implemented with the necessary replacement of the Gharki system with an underground disposal system. Far-out areas should get the first priority in sewerage development. Improve stormwater drainage. This will carry stormwater and avoid flooding, every year WASA has to install pumps to extract excess water which is costly and time-consuming. The drainage system is important as it recharges surface water and also is used for irrigation purposes. For wastewater treatment, the construction of lagoons is the only available option which may be a little costly but its maintenance and operating cost is very little. NARC has been using this in Islamabad and this is a success so far there.

MEEKAL ABDULLAH,

Lahore.