By Ali RazaJanuary 16, 2017LAHORE
Provision of clean and safe drinking water to the citizens is top priority of Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) and every effort is being done to accomplish this task.
This was stated by the newly-elected Lord Mayor of Lahore Col ® Mubashar Javed in an interview with The News here Sunday. The mayor admitted the fact that the underground water level of the provincial capital was depleting fast and immediate steps were needed to preserve this precious resource for future generation. He also admitted that traces of arsenic were also found in some of the tube-wells in the provincial capital, which raised serious concerns among the citizens as well as the government.
“We are looking on various options of using surface water to fulfill the daily requirements of the citizens,” he said, adding a summary regarding installation of several tube-wells and a water filtration plant at Ravi Saifan area had already been moved to the provincial government.” Under this project, MCL will install a water filtration plant of international standard to treat water of River Ravi, which will be stored at Ravi Saifan during floods and rain, he said. He further said that this treated water would later be supplied to the citizens.
Replying a question that the government had ignored water filtration plants installed during the regime of General Pervez Musharraf, he said the Punjab government had established Saaf Pani Company, which was taking care of all such plants. “MCL will install new water filtration plants across the city and for this purpose we are looking for international companies,” he said, adding operation and maintenance of water filtration plants would also be the part of this project to ensure their long life. Lord Mayor said another option under discussion was installation of self-cleaning water filtration plants and maintained that a pilot project in this regard would soon be operative.
Over a question that untreated industrial and municipal waste water is also a major threat to Lahore’s underground aquifer, he said that several proposals for installing treatment plants at main disposal stations of the city are under discussion and contracts of these projects would be awarded soon. He said he had already directed all the officials concerned to make a list of industrial units polluting underground water table as well as those who have not installed waste water treatment plants at their industrial units. “We will take indiscriminate and comprehensive action against all those involved in this practice very soon,” the mayor announced. Frequent traffic jams, increasing air pollution levels, encroachments, unplanned commercialization and expansion of Lahore are some of the other major problems of the provincial metropolis. The newly-elected mayor said he and his team comprising nine deputy mayors were working on all these issues and would get guideline from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.