Filtration plant: public good or nuisance
RAWALPINDI, Aug 26: Otherwise initiated for the public good, a filtration plant installed by opposition party in Punjab — Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) — on main Iqbal Road has discomforted the general public.
The filtration plant was installed by MPA Rana Rizvi — wife of local PPP leader Ibne Rizvi — at the cost of Rs7.5 million.
The aim of the project is good — to provide potable water to the residents of downtown area — but the selection of the site created problems for the people as the plant constructed on the road side covers half the road.
Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) turned a blind eye on the issue and allowed the Public Works Department to encroach the state land without any hurdle.
The civic body is claiming to clean the permanent and temporary encroachments from the city but failed to stop the construction.
The residents of the area complained to the RTMA when the filtration plant was being constructed during Ramazan.
However, the team arrived at the spot but due to the resentment of PPP workers, the RTMA team returned without demolishing the illegal construction.
An RTMA official, requesting not to be named, said the lawmakers worked without any planning and they were spending public money on such schemes which created problems for the people.
He said in some areas of Rawal Town, the PML-N lawmakers are spending money without any planning and some roads and streets constructed — twice in a year — just to accommodate the funds allocated to them.
“Service Road along Benazir Bhutto Road near Shamsabad Park, Dhoke Ratta, Khyaban-i-Sir Syed Road, Dhoke Dalal Road, Ganjmandi Road, Gawalmandi Road, Sherpao Colony Road were constructed twice in the last fiscal year,” he said.
“Two filtration plants established at Fawara Chowk and College Road Chowk had been demolished for the construction of a road under the development package of MNA Shakeel Awan,” he said.
It is strange that the lawmakers started the work for development of the city and public good a few months before the general elections, to impress upon people their good works.
For the lawmakers elected on reserved seats it is a catch 22 situation, as they had funds and did not know where to spend money for public welfare as they had no constituency.
Due to the encroachment of the road linking Chittian Hattian with Iqbal Road — a road from Raja Bazaar to Committee Chowk — the residents faced problems in entering the area.
“Yes, we need clean drinking water but not at the cost of blockage of main road by filtration plant and garbage collection drum. The government should build the filtration plant on a separate place,” said Mohammad Rafique, a resident of Landa Bazaar.
“Earlier, the civic agency dumped garbage collected for the area and now, the construction of filtration plant created problem for the residents,” said Ahmed Ali, a resident of the locality.
MPA Rana Rizvi was not available for comments but her husband the active worker of PPP, Ibne Rizvi, said his wife received funds from the federal government and got a filtration plant installed for public good.
“We installed the filtration plant but the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) is not getting its control — to make it operational for public welfare.
Wasa’s officials are not willing to cooperate with the PPP, due to PML-N pressure in the province,” he said.
He said earlier, MPA Rana Rizvi got funds from the federal government to the tune of Rs30 million and managed to improve the Gyane wards at Benazir Bhutto Hospital.
He said she planned to provide more funds to the hospital where our leader spent her last moments on December 27, 2007 after her assassination in a bomb-gun attack.
“I am not aware of the issue however, the government departments should consult Wasa before initiating projects aiming to provide potable water to the residents of the city,” said Raja Shaukat, Wasa managing director, while talking to Dawn.
He said Wasa laid down a set pattern for the filtration plants and tubewells and after installation of the filtration plants and tubewells without the consultation of the relevant agency, it created problems to manage different types of the filtration plants in the city.
When contacted, Rawal Town Administrator Saif Anwar Jappa said: “The filtration plant and garbage collection station at the spot are utility services.”
He said he would send a team and try to resolve the issue. He said action would be taken against the construction, if it created hurdle in the smooth way of the traffic in the area.