From Khaleej Times onlineLAHORE — Half of Lahore population has been drinking water having faecal contents, and even those living in the so-called posh areas are no exception.
According to a report of the Institute of Public Health, waste discharged from bowels (faeces) has been found in about half of the drinking water samples collected from almost all parts of Lahore. The samples tested by the institute were sent to it by different agencies including the city district government during the first two weeks of the month. IPH’s Epidemiologist Prof. Farkhanda Kokab says the institute had tested some 92 drinking water samples between May 1 and 15 and found faeces in 43 of them. “The presence of faeces in potable water is very dangerous and alarming. The authorities concerned must take a serious note of it and do the needful,” she said and maintained that posh areas were no exception in this case. “The best solution to ensure the cleanliness of drinking water is to boil it,” she suggested.
Because of the poor quality of water being provided by the government agency, people are switching over to bottled water. The number of bottled water users is going up by the day and the number of such companies is also on the rise. The price of 1.5 litre bottle of water is Rs 30, or equivalent to one litre of milk. This price is about 70 per cent of the soft drink of the same size. Time is not far off when the water, milk and soft drinks will be available at about the same price.
Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) Director (Monitoring) Dr Shagufta Shahjahan said the department carried out tests of drinking water samples collected from different parts of the province off and on. In Lahore, she said, 25 per cent water samples were found ‘unfit’ for drinking in the last survey. She said the department had written to the city district government and Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to chlorinate and clean the water supply lines.
An EPD survey shows that the defective sewerage system is one of the main reasons of water contamination. Due to defective system, sewage mixes with the water supply lines. The survey suggests that the discharge of industrial effluents into the subsoil through holes should be banned in order to avoid ground water contamination.