Archive for WASA drains
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
By Ali Raza
OPEN drains in the provincial metropolis release poisonous gases, causing pollution and spreading foul stench.
At least 12 major WASA drains pass through Lahore. These are located on Walton Road, Fruit and Vegetable Market on Ferozpur Road, Bihar Colony, Township, General Hospital, Chungi Amer Sadhu, Satto Kattla, Hudyara, Khurshid Alam Road, Gulberg (near Home Economics College), Canal Park, Shama Cinema, Rasool Park, Samnabad, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Abdul Rehman Road, Fortress Stadium, Mian Mir Colony, Upper Mall, Zafar Ali Road, Mustafabad, Mian Mir Graveyard, Governor’s House, Jinnah Gardens, Lawrence Road, Birdwood Road, Jail Road, LOS Workshop, Samnabad, The Mall, Zoo, Queens Road, Diyal Singh Mansion, Mozang, Lytton Road, Chauburji (near Green Building), Shalimar Road, Shalimar Gardens, Medina Colony, Misri Shah, Shadbagh, Bagh Munshi Ladha, Walled City, Data Nagar and Siddiqpura.
According to officials, these drains discharge water in Ravi River through disposal stations located at Mahmood Booti, Shadbagh, Chota Ravi, Shahdra, Babo Saboo and Satto Katla.
They said drainage system in Lahore was started in 1936. Initially, main sewer lines were laid from McLeod Road to Outfall Road and in Mozang, Krishan Nagar, Sanat Nagar Road, Ravi Road, Gunj Bazar Mughalpura, Shamnagar, Anarkali and some parts of the Walled City. At the time of partition of the sub-continent, the major drains in Lahore were Cant Drain (Mian Mir Drain), Sukh Nehar Drain and Chota Ravi Drain.
They said the drainage and water supply system was handed over to Lahore Improvement Trust (LIT), established in 1967. The LIT constructed drains and laid sewers in Gulberg, Samnabad, Shadbagh and some other areas of the City. They maintained that with the creation of WASA under LDA Act 1975, the system was handed over to WASA except Township and Green Town localities that were controlled by the Housing and Physical Planning Department until 1993.
Another senior WASA official said all open drains were originally constructed to carry rain and flood water but they turned into sewers with the passage of time. He said the WASA constructed main drains such as General Hospital Drain, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road Drain, Habibullah Road Drain, Furkhabad Drain in Shahdra and Ghaziabad Drain between 1987 and 1990. The existing drainage and sewers may carry much water if properly desilted.
Shahid Bhatti, an environmentalist said poisonous gases emanating from open sewers pollute the environment. “Foul odour emanating from these drains discourages economic activity,” he observed.
Open sewers also pollute ground water as sewage seeps into ground, he said and added that this caused various kinds of stomach and liver diseases among people who lived near open drains and drink ground water.
When contacted, WASA Planning Director Zahid Aziz said sewer drains were not covered in majority of developing countries because of lack of funds. He said the agency was planning to construct two underground sewers to transfer sewage of two drains. He said the agency would construct a big conduit to transfer sewage from Cant Drain (formally known as Mian Mir Drain) to Gulshan-e-Ravi Disposal Station. He said this project was very costly and was included in WASA’s future projects.
He said the agency would also construct a big underground sewer in Allama Iqbal Town area and it would carry sewage of Allama Iqbal Town to the Multan Road sewer. He said the agency would start this project very soon.
About contamination of groundwater by sewage, he said the WASA usually pumped ground water from a depth of 500 to 700 feet and seepage from open drains reached a depth of 200 feet. He claimed ground water supplied by WASA to citizens was safe. He said presence of encroachments along open drains was a serious issue and action was needed to resolve it.