People at the mercy of tanker mafia in Quetta

Editorial:

Most of the government-owned water supply schemes/tube wells in Quetta and either dysfunctional or provide water to specific posh areas of the city. This situation has left the people in this provincial capital at the mercy of the tanker mafia, which has been minting money right under the nose of the concerned authorities.

The Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) has totally failed to provide water to the citizens and ensure the functioning of its dysfunctional tube wells. The Authority is a good employer with around 2,000 employees but it is least bothered about the woes of the masses.

Also Read: WASA fails to provide water in Quetta as tankers strike enters 9th day

The tanker mafia is charging from Rs.1,000 to 3,000 per tanker in various parts of the provincial capital. The administration has failed to ensure one fixed price per tanker. The consumers are unaware that the tanker’s water is clean or contaminated. It is the decision of the tanker driver and owner to provide clean or contaminated water. The citizens have no forum to challenge the quality and price of the water.

Also Read: Hazara women block Western Bypass Quetta against scarcity of water

The water scarcity issue continues to intensify with every passing day as underground water continues to deplete in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

Most of the private-owned tube wells have also dried up because of the depleting water table. People are now installing tube wells in valleys to use naturally reserved water for our next generations.

With no strategy, the provincial government has allocated billions of rupees for installing new tube wells in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. In this month of June, one can see installing of tube wells in almost all parts of the city, which houses more than three million people. The primary concern of the government and the masses is to install tube wells while ignoring the depleting water table. Most of the influential people have installed tube wells at their homes with no or zero action from WASA and the Public Health Engineering Department.

Also Read: World Water Day: More water reservoirs needed: Governor Balochistan

As early as possible, Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo led coalition plus Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam (JUI) and Balochistan National Party (Mengal) from the so-called opposition are trying hard to ensure maximum use of the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).

The government has failed to realize the sensitivity and gravity of the situation when it comes to depleting water tables. Most of the green areas in the province have turned into deserts now. The forest fire in Sherani will be having a disastrous impact on the ecosystem in the north of the province.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.