Has anybody else noticed how ill maintained and seriously deteriorated the city’s water and sanitation system is? It is something that comes to for every time the rains come. Islamabad has the slight advantage over most cities in that it is a planned one which means that most if it does not face the conventional problems of water standing and stagnating on roadways. However, move away from the older sectors in to ones located to the edge of the city, including F-11, I-8, I-10 etc and you will find pools burgeoning every few kilometers.
Besides that, lots of basements and relatively low lying houses, and those located in natural depressions complain often of floods of waste and muck. Lots of people end up calling for CDA pumps to clean out the areas that for days reek of stench and sewerage.
It is a well known truth that all the waste from Islamabad’s sectors, including industrial waste culminates in the various “nullahs” flowing between and under the streets before culminating in the Nullah Leh. These health hazards are becoming more acute with each passing day as in addition to the underground waste, these nullahs are also a dumping ground for a lot of the city’s garbage. In spite of dumpsters in every other street, it is very convenient simply to toss bags and bins from car windows into the murky depths of these rivers of filth.
As these nullahs flow deeper through Islamabad and Rawalpindi into relatively closer knit and lower level communities, areas and townships, what is not very conceivable for us is that these nullahs become the source of water for some areas as well. I really don’t know about the drinking part, but old-style “dhobi-ghaats” and using this water to wash dishes and clothes personally is quite common.
What is seriously worrying is that nobody really knows the state of the pipes and tubes and things under the city that make up its sewerage system. Decay and a poor checks and maintenance methods mean that water contamination is a very real problem. Similarly drains bubbling up due to blockages in streets and out on roads are also very common.
An ineffective and poorly retained drainage system is a health risk, giving birth to possible ailments relating to skin and breathing at the simplest and if not contained and corrected, could bloom into serious ailments especially if the lines carrying waste merge with water lines. It has happened before and needs to be addressed by the Capital Development Authority at the earliest!