ISLAMABAD - Acting against water mafia in Islamabad, the district administration on Sunday sealed 10 tube wells, installed illegally in the precincts of Noon and Tarnol police stations.

Magistrate Saddar Zone Mir Yamin took action against the illegal installations, following Islamabad High Court orders to seal the tube wells after a massive decline in ground water level at the areas. Talking to APP, Yamin said the owners of tube wells drawing up water from these illegally-installed tube wells storing it in tankers and selling it off to residents of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. A team of district administration taking cognizance of the matter raided the sites and sealed the tube wells, he added. To a query, he said the administration also plans to file a police complaint against the tube well operators, after which FIRs will be filed.

Meanwhile, the residents have urged the civic authorities to take action against private ‘tanker mafia’ as they charge Rs1800 to Rs3000 for a tanker. According to residents’ complaints from Chatha Bakhtawar, Chak Shehzad, Tarnol and other rural areas there were no water lines and residents are left at the mercy of private tanker services alone.

The residents who have no other option but to purchase private water tankers to meet their household needs, demanded management to control the price of water tankers as soon as possible.

A resident from Chatha Bakhtawar said the government should check on these private water tankers who are taking this water crisis for granted and making money from innocent citizens. “We cannot afford water from the private tanker mafia because it is too costly,” said Ramzan another resident of Tarlai.

Ahmed Khan, a resident of Chak Shehzad, who is perturbed over growing shortage of water, said, the underground water level going low due to heavy pumping at various locations.

This was the first winter season we facing acute shortage of water due to massive water drawing by the tanker mafia, but authorities concerned were doing nothing for us, he regretted.

A housewife at the area also demanded of the authorities concerned to take serious action against the water mafia to provide relief to masses.