Residents of different areas across the city have been suffering from several waterborne diseases due to the consumption of contaminated potable water being supplied by the Sialkot Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA).

Although rusty pipelines being used for supply of water to the citizens have been declared unhygienic and misfit for the purpose by the Public Health Engineering Department and the Health Department, the TMA has been playing with public health by continuing its operation with these supply lines.

Citizens complained that unhygienic drinking water has resulted in the spread of hepatitis and other waterborne diseases in the city.

Arshad Mehmood Baggu, a former MPA and Sialkot DBA president, stated that the situation as alarming, pointing out that the district health department and TMA officials have already declared the underground water in these area as dangerous and unhygienic. He said that sewerage lines underground have been broken in various congested residential and industrial areas of Sialkot city due to which it get mixed with the drinking water being supplied to the citizens.

He alleged that this grave problem has been brought into the notice of TMA officials concerned time and again seems they have allegedly turned eye blind to this grave issue.

Meanwhile, local social, religious, business and political circles have also expressed grave concern over the critical situation. They regretted that people have been rapidly becoming victims to the waterborne and contagious diseases due to the use of the unhygienic and contaminated drinking water.

The sources in the health department confirmed that the number of patients of different waterborne diseases has been on the rise.

The Sialkot-based officials of the Environment Department said that the Environment Department has recently collected samples of water being supplied to Sialkot city by TMA through its all the 33 water supplying tube-wells established in different areas of the city, adding that examination of these water samples from a Lahore lab has declared the water as unfit for human consumption.

They said that major cause behind the water contamination is underground junction of sewerage into water supply pipelines.

The officials of Health, Public Health Engineering and Environment departments have again suggested that the TMA should install ultra-modern water filtration plants in all the congested and thickly populated areas of Sialkot city, adding that there should be installed chlorine machines tube-wells for purifying this contaminated water.

Thousands people residing in 16 urban union councils of Sialkot city have been drinking unhygienic water and suffering various stomach and liver diseases including hepatitis.

These affected union councils are: Mianapura, Model Town, Muzaffarpura, Imam Sahib, Karimpura, Hajipura, Ghouspura, Naikapura, Muhammadpura, Shahabpura, Roras Road, Gulshan Town, Pakka Garha, Muhallah Chah Tarkhaana and Muhallah Kashmiriyaan, the officials added. The PHED has directed the Sialkot TMA to immediately change underground damaged water supply and sewerage pipe lines.

They said that 600 hundred feet deep water boring system is also direly needed to ensure provision of potable water to the city.

The health department officials have feared that gastro epidemic is likely to be broken out in Sialkot City’s thickly populated area if the TMA did not take remedial measure on war footing.

Some TMA officials claimed that Rs45 million are required for replacing the rusting and damaged underground water supply pipelines.

When contacted, the TMA officials concerned said that the Public Health Engineering Department would carry out an integrated long-term master action plan to ensure smooth provision of potable water to the city soon.