Sewage in plots increases health risks for residents

 Sewage in plots increases health risks for residents

LAHORE: Lack of attention by the district administration coupled with ignorance shown by the Audit and Accounts Housing Society administrator continues to threaten the lives of residents, as the authorities concerned failed to remove sewage water from open plots of the society despite a lapse of several months, Daily Times has learnt.

The accumulated wastewater also puts a question mark on the performance of the filed staff as well as the departments concerned who neglected it.

In order to prevent an outbreak of dengue, the district administration has been conducting surveillance operations across the city on a daily basis for the last several months by pointing out such places. However, it appears as if no monitoring has been done in this particular housing society, where this issue is still waiting for the attention of the officials.

Last month, the deputy commissioner claimed that 3,200 dengue workers in 1,066 teams had been conducting indoor and outdoor dengue surveillance in the city and strict surveillance had brought positive results to control the spread of dengue fever, but the ground reality is very much different. There are many open places where rainwater and sewage had been accumulated and turned into dengue larva breeding sites.

When this scribe contacted the residents of the housing society, they started sharing bulks of complaints. They demanded Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take notice of this problem by issue immediately directives to the officials concerned to dispose of that wastewater.

They said that they had time and again informed WASA and society officials about the problem and even forwarded many applications in written, but all their efforts went in vain. Pointing out an empty plot, they said that 2-3 feet of sewage had been accumulated there, adding that it was not easy to live in the area with that unpleasant odor. They said that there were many other plots in the housing society where stagnant water was present. An angry resident, requesting anonymity, said that wastewater present in the are for the past several months showed the actual performance of the dengue filed staff and other departments concerned, who did not point out the huge quantity of accumulated water.

Another resident said that if the health department teams had point out such sites, why the staff failed to clear the area.

Some of the residents said that a couple of times the staff concerned visited the site and removed the sewage through dewatering pumps, but no proper sewerage system had been installed in the area. "The water keeps on accumulating, and now even the sanitation staff and anti-dengue teams have stopped visiting the area," said a resident.

Criticising the performance of the dengue surveillance teams, the residents said that they just come in the streets and don't visit their houses. They claimed that the teams just ask the name of the house head and fill the surveillance papers without getting any information from the residents. They said that the government and the housing society collected huge revenue in the form of taxes from them every year, but they could not even provide basic facilities to the residents.

When contacted, a spokesman for the deputy commissioner said that the teams were vigilantly working in their assigned areas. "I will probe this issue and stern action will be taken against the responsible person."

He said that indoor residual spraying (IRS) had been taking place at sites after the detection of dengue larva by the staff, and because of such strict surveillance the district administration had succeeded in controlling the spread of dengue this year.

This scribe made several attempts to contact the society administration and union on their cell phones for their comments but they did not respond, despite leaving messages on their cell phones.


Published in Daily Times, September 13th 2017.