By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: Even though it is located on the banks of the river, Gilgit’s largest residential area of Danyor, is facing an acute shortage of water.
The situation is so bad that residents have to rely on tankers for water supply.
“The supply problem is worsening with each passing day,” said Shamsuddin, a resident of the town located across River Gilgit.
People worst hit by the crisis live in the vicinity of the Sehhat Foundation Hospital, a private facility located near the Chinese cemetery.
Shamsuddin said the scarcity of water has compelled residents to rely on water tankers but that solution is untenable since many people living in the area are poor and mostly live hand-to-mouth.
He said that some staff from the civic agencies had recently visited the area and helped restore water supply to the area. But the fix was temporary and occurred two months after locals had lodged a series of complaints.
“The worst part is the government staff display complete apathy towards our complaints,” Sahmsuddin adding that lack of maintenance and cleaning of choked pipes was the primary cause of the crisis.
The city has become an economic hub of sorts with warehouses filled with goods imported from China.
“Apart from locals, people from adjoining areas such as Jalalabad, Bargrote and Haramosh come here in droves to look for jobs,” says another resident of Danyor, Jamal Khan.
While the Minister of Works Dr Muhammad Iqbal, who was elected from Danyor, was out of the country on an official trip, regional spokesperson Faizullah Farak, said the government was aware of the issues.
“Danyor is not the only area facing a water crisis, and we are going to tackle the issue holistically,” Farak told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2016.