RAWALPINDI   -   Unchecked pumping of animal, poultry and toxic industrial waste into Chehan Dam poses serious health concerns to the citizens, river spices and the surrounding environment.

Since the Chehan Dam has become the biggest hope of Punjab government and the City District Government for supplying six million gallons water daily to Rawalpindi dis­trict; during last many months, the dam has been turned into a dumping site for cattle and poultry farms owners as well as industrialists mixing toxic wastes into the water.

In a survey, conducted by The Nation on Tuesday, it was revealed that the cattle, poultry and industries’ owners are throwing the waste into Chehan Dam.

Besides, many other drains are releasing water into the Chehan Dam. Locals say the water of the dam is used for irrigation purposes and toxic chemicals, which are being pumped into it without any treatment, could cause dan­gerous consequences on agricultural land being cultivated with this poisonous water. They said that in some areas, water of Chehan Dam was also being used for animals which meant a serious threat to them. They urged the district government to take action against the owners of cattle pens, poultry farms and the industrialists to avoid water pollution. A retired military officer, who is residing near Chehan Dam, told The Nation that once the dam was the biggest source of drinking water but contaminated nowadays because of dumping of waste in it.

“Chehan Dam flows from the direction of the New Is­lamabad Airport and Margallas. This is a perennial river which is fed by spring water. Some 20 years ago, the water of this dam was very much clean and people could see fish swimming in it,” he said. He said the water was too much clean that people used it for drinking.

“For a year, the dam has become a big dumping site for cattle and poultry owners and the industrialists as they throw waste in the water making it pollute and not fit for human consumption,” he said. He said that the govern­ment was planning to launch a water supply scheme to Rawalpindi district but before it must act against those involved in polluting water.

Another landlord Ameer Khan was of the view that wa­ter pollution was leading to several fatal diseases in the area. “There was a time when we fetched water from the dam for drinking but now we even can’t think to give it to animals because it is poisonous,” he said. He said that the government should take action against those who dis­charging waste into dam.

Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Chaudhry Ali Rand­hawa, however, when contacted for his comments, ex­pressed his deep concerns over the drowning of filth and other toxic material in Chehan Dam. He said that he had passed directions to Director Environment Protection Agency to carry out a visit to the dam to spot as to who is busy in such anti-human exercise.