Saturday, August 6, 2011

Drinking Water in Faisalabad

Faisalabad is considered third biggest city of Pakistan according to population. In last 10 to 15 years its population has grown rapidly. People from surrounding cities, towns and villages have moved to the city and lots of surrounding villages and towns are also now a part of the city Faisalabad. Like Lahore, we have a canal passing through the heart of city called Rakh Branch. It enters from east and passing through the city leaves the city on western side. Like Clifton area of Karachi, the area around the Canal is considered to be the most elite area of the city. There are several old colonies and towns like Peoples Colony and Madina Town, and now there are lots of new colonies being constructed on the outer edges of the city along the Canal.
The city has an environment of industrialization. Labour from all over Punjab comes here to work in Textile Mills. Before the construction of mills and factories, the area and land was used for agriculture. Faisalabad is not an area which receive lots of rain, so the canal was and is used for irrigation. The underground water is not drinkable in most areas of city. Only the areas near canal, where canal water has seeped into earth, have drinkable water. So the areas near canal are kind of elite areas of Faisalabad. But with the passage of time as the water level is dropping, old undrinkable water is showing its face now. The old towns like Mansoorabad which once had sweet drinkable water from underground, now the water cannot be drunk from these areas. Water and Sewerage Authority is not providing drinkable water in most areas near canal for last 5 years or so. Due to this, the Can Mafia has taken over the city. People, especially Pathans, have come to city and they supply water in blue colour cans previously used as textile chemical containers. They load these cans on carts and Qingqee Loaders and supply water to virtually every place in the city, especially 3 to 4 kilometer far areas now totally depend on these water suppliers. To fulfill the needs of these suppliers, people have bored and installed heavy tubewell motors along the Canal right from Mansoorabad to Nisar Colony. These heavy motors suck drinkable water from underground a few meters away from canal. And I am thinking how much time we have when the water near the Canal will also become undrinkable? What would we do then? Would we start drinking Canal water directly?

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